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£2 million to be spent on improving water quality at Combe Martin Beach

By NDJDuncan  |  Posted: March 18, 2014

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£2 MILLION is to be spent on improving water quality at Combe Martin Beach.

It is hoped the project will help the area to meet tough new EU water standards.

A dog ban order proposed for the beach during high season would also help to improve water quality, according to Combe Martin Parish Council.

South West Water announced the investment at a meeting with the council, Combe Martin Bathing Water Quality Standard Group and the Environment Agency on March 7.

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Work will start in September and be completed by March 2015.

Two underground storm water storage tanks will be created and underground screening chambers will be built for the two existing storm overflow pipes and storm water storage tanks.

It is hoped the improvements will help Combe Martin to comply with the European Union’s new Bathing Water Directive.

If the beach failed the test, signs would have to be erected advising people not to swim.

Combe Martin parish councillor and leader of the town’s Bathing Water Quality Standard Group Trevor Kibble said he was “absolutely thrilled” with the news.

“It’s a lot of money to get for a small village like this,” he said.

“A tremendous amount of work has gone into getting this result.

“It’s all going to work towards getting the new EU standard.”

South West Water project manager Mike Court said urban drainage, agricultural run-off, animals and private sewers all contributed to lowering water quality.

He said: “We believe that, with the help of the local community, this major investment will help Combe Martin reach the new ‘sufficient’ standard when reporting under the revised Bathing Water Directive comes into force in 2015.”

Mr Kibble said a dog ban order, which the council has proposed for the beach in high season, would also help to improve water quality.

The order would mean people who walked their dogs on the beach could be fined on the spot.

Dog waste reduces water quality and poses a serious health risk, according to the council.

A decision on whether to impose the order is expected to be made by the end of this week, following a month of public consultation.

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