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People still flocking to Brightlingsea beach despite failed ecoli test
8:00am Saturday 28th July 2012 in News
HOLIDAY makers and environment chiefs have given a beach the thumbs up despite it failing an ecoli test.
Brightlingsea’s bathing water was found to contain well over three times the recommended ecoli levels during Environment Agency tests on July 9.
Councillors and environment groups blamed the heavy rainfall that week for flooding sewage into the sea and causing the rogue result.
Latest tests, taken at 11.30am on July 14, show water quality is back up to a high level and safe to swim in.
It was the first time the Blue Flag beach, considered one of Britain’s cleanest, has failed the weekly test since 1997.
Vivien Chapman, Brightlingsea town councillor responsible for the promenade, said the result was an anomaly.
She said: “People obviously are not deterred as it is absolutely packed.
“If you want a beach day out in an area that is relaxing, has amazing views, clean beaches and doesn’t have the temptation of amusements then come to Brightlingsea.
“I wish the Environment Agency would liase with us when they do these tests so we all have an idea of what is going on.”
The result, published online, shows a reading of 6,900 ecoli colonies in 100mls of water, above the 2,000 colonies minimum.
Tests are carried out on public bathing water for bacteria ecoli and intestinal enterococci.
Keep Britain Tidy monitor the results and other criteria in order to award blue flags to the highest quality beaches.
If Brightlingsea fails the weekly test one more time during the holiday season it would fall below EU standards.
Four more fails would mean it loses its blue flag.
Catherine Burbage of the Environment Agency, said it was just a blip due to the weather.
Jessica Phillips, 20, regularly visits Brightlingsea with son Samuel Mitson, 19 months.
She said: “The beach here is very nice. We all go in the water. It is lovely - Sam loves it."