Bathing Water Designation Secured for Edisford Bridge

Ribble Valley residents have been granted their very own designated Bathing Water site thanks to the Ribble Rivers Trust’s Safe to Splash campaign.

Following an extensive application and consultation process, Defra have today announced that Ribble Rivers Trust’s application to designate Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe as a bathing water under the Bathing Water Regulations has been approved.

Going forward the site will now display public information about water quality and potential pollution during the bathing water season, which runs from 15 May to 30 September, enabling everyone from paddlers to outdoor swimming enthusiasts to make informed decisions before they enter the water.

Additionally, the designation means that the site will be subject to regular monitoring during the bathing water season and, when water quality issues arise, the Environment Agency will take steps to identify the source of the problem and take action to resolve the issues. As part of this, the Government has also promised to quadruple the Environment Agency’s regulatory capacity, giving them the people power they need to patrol our rivers and carry out the inspections.

Throughout the past two summers, Ribble Rivers Trust worked to collect the data and evidence required for the Bathing Water Designation application, including conducting surveys, collecting and analysing water samples, gathering photo evidence, and getting the backing of local businesses.

Jack Spees, CEO of Ribble Rivers Trust says:

“Edisford Bridge is a well-known and well-loved local greenspace that is enjoyed by thousands of paddlers and swimmers each year.

Like many areas of the Ribble Catchment, there is room for improvements to our water quality. This designation will ensure that water quality is regularly monitored and ensure that polluters are obligated to reduce pollution upstream of Edisford Bridge. Consequently, this will also improve water quality at many other swimming spots, including the River Ribble at Brungerley Park.”

Last year, 96% of bathing waters in England met minimum standards and 90% of bathing waters in England were rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, up from 76% in 2010. During the summer months Ribble Rivers Trust funded their own water samples, testing five strategic sites on the River Ribble upsteam and downstream, of Edisford Bridge. These results showed that water quality currently meets the minimum standard for bathing throughout most of the summer.

As always, we owe a huge thank you to everyone that filled in our surveys and consultation, and to Ribble Valley Borough Council, who supported our application.

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