Clarke welcomes Newcastle Beach passing bathing tests

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Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Newcastle Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke has welcomed the publication from the Marine Conservation Society in their annual Good Beach Guide that Newcastle beach has passed the legal minimum seawater quality mandatory standards in 2011.  Newcastle beach also passed the European designated Bathing Waters Directive, with no beaches in Northern Ireland failing the basic standards. But Councillor Patrick Clarke stressed that more must be done to ensure that local beaches such as Newcastle in Down District continue to improve on bathing water quality tests prior to the new EU guidelines under the revised Bathing Water Directive, which will replace the current standards with far more stringent ones from 2015 Speaking to Newry Times, Councillor Patrick Clarke stated: “Our beaches are still at risk from local pollution due to storms and heavy rain, which can overwhelm our sewerage systems and flush untreated material onto our beaches, as well as animal waste which can greatly impact on bathing water quality. But the significant financial investment and major upgrading of sewerage infrastructure will go towards improving the bathing water quality significantly at Newcastle beach. This summer will also see the first samples being taken under the revised Bathing Water Directive, which will replace the current standards with far more stringent ones from 2015, so we should ensure that as guardians of our natural surroundings that we all play our part in keeping our beaches such as Newcastle clean.” Clarke added, “Newcastle beach bathing water quality can in the very near future be able to achieve excellent status which would enable Down District Council to apply for Blue Flag status. This is something which as a local Councillor for Newcastle I am very deeply committed to working towards.”
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