Environmental group want answers

Fears have been raised about bathing water quality at Monifieth beach.
Fears have been raised about bathing water quality at Monifieth beach.

Friends of the Earth Tayside say there are still unanswered questions over the failure of Monifieth’s bathing waters meeting the basic standard.

As reported in the Gazette last week, on one occasion last month the water failed to meet even the basic mandatory standard for bathing water with figures showing bacteria was five times higher than it should have been.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency said it was investigating the cause of the incident and that there were dishcarges into the sea from combined sewer overflows.

And now Doug McLaren from Friends of the Earth is still eager to get to the bottom of the problem.

He told the Gazette: “I’m afraid they left a lot of unanswered questions. We wonder whether the Combined Sewage Outfalls (CSO’s) discharges evenly when large volumes of water and sewage flow through the system, acting as they do as a series of safety valves to release pressure along the sewage pipeline to Hatton.

“Because Monifieth failed so disproportionately compared with neighbouring waters at Broughty Ferry and Carnoustie, did the brunt of the discharge exit at Monifieth?

“SEPA did not say whether their laboratory sampling revealed the extremely high levels of faecal bacteria to be of human or animal origin.”

And with the failure of the water quality, Mr McLaren fears it could have a knock on effect.

He added: “Surfers, of whom there are many in Monifieth Bay when the wind is up, undergo total immersion, and they are very vulnerable to poor water quality.

“We’d like surfers to get in touch with us to raise awareness and persuade the authorities about the seriousness of this problem.

“Maybe Angus Council is aware and expressing it’s concern. Tourism will not be helped if adverse reports hit the headlines.

“The Scotland in Bloom judges noticed July’s failure at Monifieth and Keep Scotland Beautiful will withdraw Monifieth’s beach’s award status if there is another one this season.”