On this page we will be tracking the water quality test results across the Island.
Please remember that our smiley's reflect water quality results in the context of dogs, in that failing to meet the required standard is a good result. If you are wondering how we came to this conclusion well the criteria for the Quality Coast Awards requires that dogs be banned from at least part of the beach so as a result the very presence of dogs renders an area of coastline as not being considered to be of quality. Which quite frankly I consider to be an insult, a view I suspect could well be shared by the families who own the estimated 8 million dogs in this country. In addition the criteria for the Blue Flag Award requires that dogs be banned from the beach (this is only a requirement in the UK) and as a result I consider the awards, which require the water quality tests, to be Anti-Dog.
The categories are:
The Test passed the higher, recommended guideline standards for faecal coliform, total coliform and faecal streptococci. (Bad news for the families who own the UK's 8 million dogs)
To achieve this overall result for a season, 80% of all samples must be equal to, or better than, the above standards for total and faecal coliform and 90% must be equal to or better than the standard level for faecal streptococci.
The test passed the legal minimum mandatory standards for faecal coliform and total coliform. (Bad news for the families who own the UK's 8 million dogs)
To achieve this overall result for a season, 95% of all the samples must be equal to, or better than, the above standards for total and faecal coliform.
The test failed the legal minimum standards for faecal coliform and total coliform (Great news for the families who own the UK's 8 million dogs)
To achieve this result for a season the water must be polluted, or should that read "more polluted" than the tests that actually "pass".
No Result Published (Very suspicious)We have established that the Environment agency are no longer showing either Springvale or East Cowes as water testing sites on their website. So it is looking increasingly possible that water is no longer being tested at these two areas as they are now classified as NON BATHING beaches. Yet they are still shown on the councils website as included in water testing sites (very professional) the council choosing, so it appears, to indicate "No Result" every week rather than actually bothering to update their own website?!?
The results published by the council are only given as "smiley faces", which is hardly a very scientific approach and although this indicates the given result meeting the total coliform no more than 500 per 100ml criteria, as far as we know, there is no indication of the the actual result. ie whether it was a border line measure or otherwise, which is both relevant and significant.
As I feel that the data from water testing should be in the public domain given that ultimately the testing is funded by the tax payer, and supposedly the testing is to establish the "safety" of bathing water for us the public, why not supply the public with the data? With the council only publishing "smiley's", or indeed no results with no reason given, to indicate the outcome of that testing is not in my opinion informative, open or value for value for money.
I therefore phoned the Environment Agency to try to establish where I could get access to the full data, they didn't know and suggested that I contact the council to ask them. However after I explained that its the Isle of Wight council in question, which often get a sympathetic response, and that I am currently "blacklisted" by them and consequently denied the privileged as asking (although even an acknowledgement, let alone a reply, was seldom forthcoming when I was permitted to ask) it was agreed that I should email the Environment Agency regarding the situation.
I will let you now the outcome....eventually.
Individual dog ban beaches link to their own pages, where Current Suspicion Status (CSS) is indicated. Current Blue Flag Award beaches (Shanklin,Sandown & Ventnor) maintain Middle CSS level or higher at all times.
|LOCATION|| 05 MAY|| 12 May|| 19 May|| 26 May|| 01 June|
| East Cowes|
| Gurnard |
| Ryde |
| St Helens|
Comments after 5 results
Following all the recent media hype when it was announced that the Island had attained 14 Award winning beaches, and that we as joint biggest winners, along with Torbay, had been heralded for our clean sea waters. However they failed to mention that four of the Islands 11 Quality Coast Award winners were actually in the category Non Bathing beaches. The beaches at Springvale, East Cowes, Cowes and Seagrove bay are not classified as Bathing beaches and consequently no longer need to meet water quality standards. This according to an email from Keep Britain Tidy that has been sent to us.
Way to go Shanklin - Blue flag award beach fails water quality test so early in the season!
Wightdogs Awards current leaders