Responding to the 2012 Good Beach Guide, produced by the Marine Conservation Society, the Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority is reiterating that sewage from Douglas, Onchan, Derbyhaven, Castletown, Port Erin and Port St Mary no longer discharges untreated to sea locally, but is pumped to a modern sewage treatment works at Meary Veg.
The Sewage Treatment Plant at Meary Veg has been operating since 2004 and treats sewage from 67% of the Island’s population, after which the high-quality effluent is discharged into the Irish Sea off Santon Head.
‘Samples of sea water are tested every two weeks, between May and September, from the various designated bathing beaches around the Island,’ explained Water & Sewerage Authority Chairman Graham Cregeen MHK. ‘The results are then compiled by the Environmental Protection Unit and displayed at the sampling points.
This year’s Good Beach Guide claims seven of the 20 Manx beaches tested each year ‘failed to meet environmental standards’.
However, the Authority notes that the failures reported at Bay Ny Carrickey and Douglas are not as a result of any problems with the sewage collection and treatment systems as there have been no sewage spills to the marine environment.
Mr Cregeen added: ‘We continue to make good progress with the £40m programme of work associated with the first phase of the Regional Sewage Treatment Strategy, which will bring modern sewage treatment facilities to the remainder of the Island’s towns and villages.
‘We have recently completed replacement sewage treatment plants at Patrick, Dalby, and Bride, and have started projects for Glen Maye, Glen Mona, Corony and Jurby, with design work ongoing for Maughold, Port Lewaigue, Booilushag, Kirk Michael, Andreas and Ramsey.
‘The second phase of the Regional Sewage Treatment Strategy, planned for 2016-2021, will provide sewage treatment facilities for those areas not covered by phase one, which include Peel, Laxey, Baldrine, Ballaugh, Sulby and the Central Valley.’