Broch beach picks up excellent grading

The water at Philorth Beach at Fraserburgh has been classed as 'excellent' by SEPA.
The water at Philorth Beach at Fraserburgh has been classed as 'excellent' by SEPA.

There have been mixed results from The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for the quality of bathing water at two Fraserburgh beaches.

SEPA reports that better bathing quality has been seen across Scotland this year, with the number of bathing waters predicted to achieve the highest ‘excellent’ classification up 53% since last season.

Philorth Beach at Fraserburgh has been rated ‘excellent’ by the agency, while a similar classification was given to nearby Rosehearty beach.

However, Fraserburgh’s Tigerhill failed to make the top grade, instead having it’s bathing waters classed as ‘sufficient’.

This is the second bathing water season under the much stricter water quality standards of the new Bathing Water Directive.

Classifications are calculated based on four years of monitoring data and take the overall number of bacteria into account over this period to give a more consistent picture of water quality condition when assigning the status of a bathing water area.

Commnting on the results, Calum McPhail of SEPA’s environmental quality unit, said: “Following the end of the 2016 bathing water season in Scotland it’s good to see that an initial analysis of the classifications for 2017 shows a reduction in the number of bathing waters classified as poor, and a general improvement across the other classifications.

“We understand that some local communities will be disappointed, as we are, that there are 12 bathing waters which are expected to be rated as having a ‘poor’ EU classification.

“We would like to remind the public that a ‘poor’ classification does not necessarily mean that water quality is continually poor, and that thee are still fantastic beaches to visit,” he said.

“We will continue to work with the Scottish Government and our key partner organisations to build on what has been achieved so far and to help all of Scotland’s bathing waters to avoid ‘poor’ classifications.”