Three Isle of Man beaches fail water quality standard

Ramsey beach, Isle of Man Ramsey beach was one of three stretches of Manx coastline found to have poor water quality

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Three Isle of Man beaches have failed to meet minimum European water quality standards.

Ramsey, Kirk Michael and Peel were found to have "poor water quality" in tests conducted by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

Of the 19 Manx beaches tested, five were recommended as having "excellent water quality".

Those were Port St Mary, Bay-ny-Carrickey, Castletown, Derbyhaven and Port Grenaugh near Santon.

The results of the 2014 Good Beaches Guide showed that Douglas Broadway, Douglas Central, Douglas Summerhill, Fenella Beach, Garwick, Glen Whyllin, Port Erin, Port Lewaigue all reached a mandatory grade, which means that European standards of bathing water were met.

Port Soderick, Laxey and Jurby, all received guideline results which means water quality was found to be "at a minimum".

Sewage treatment

The survey, which was based on testing carried out last summer, showed heavy rains are washing raw sewage from overflow pipes and pollution from towns and rural areas to bathing areas.

Plans are currently in place to improve the island's sewerage network with the first phase of work due to get under way in the next three years.

It will cost £40m and will bring new treatment plants to Glen Mona, Dalby, Maughold Village, Port Lewaigue, Glen Maye and Corony.

Phase two, which would provide sewage treatment facilities at Peel, Laxey, Baldrine, Sulby and Ballaugh, currently has no estimated cost.

To receive recommended status from the MCS, all samples must not exceed 2,000 E. coli per 100ml and sewage discharges have to be "appropriately treated" to remove the majority of bacteria.

The results show an overall improvement on last year when seven of the island's beaches failed to meet the MCS standards.

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