WATER at Burry Port East beach will no longer be sampled by Carmarthenshire County Council, its executive board has agreed.
The decision to scale back the council’s water monitoring programme – a non-statutory function – was made at its meeting on Monday (October 23, 2017).
A report put to members by Robin Staines, head of housing, public protection and provider services, said that sampling only gives a snapshot of water quality at the particular time it is undertaken.
As laboratory testing takes a minimum of 48 hours, test results only relate to the water from days before. And, in the case of Burry Port – an estuary where water quality changes quickly with the tides – the results can often be misleading.
Previous to the decision, water was sampled at both Burry Port East Beach and North Dock in Llanelli, both non-designated beaches but which are known popular bathing spots.
North Dock will continue to be sampled due to its regular use for sport and leisure, and because it is not affected by tidal flows.
Carmarthenshire’s designated bathing beaches – Pendine and Pembrey – are unaffected by the decision as they are monitored weekly from May through September by Natural Resources Wales.
Other non-designated beaches around the county are not sampled as they are off-limits to swimmers due to known water quality issues, strong currents, sandbanks and mud flats.
Executive board members agreed that signage at beaches around the county should be reviewed with swimmers signposted to designated bathing beaches.
To watch the full debate and access the agenda documents about this discussion at Executive Board, visit the council and democracy section of the council’s website –www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales