The Fylde Peninsula is home to one of the country’s most visited and picturesque coastlines.
While the bathing water quality on the coast had improved significantly over the previous 20 years, in 2011 seven out of the coast's eight bathing waters were predicted to fail a new, stricter bathing water directive that would come in to place from 2016.
In order to meet the new directive, two strategic partnership groups were set up to improve water quality and reduce the risk of flooding.
The Turning Tides partnership now works across the North West to improve bathing water in the region through infrastructure, planning, campaigning, volunteering, educating and engaging. The Turning Tides partnership also runs the LOVEmyBEACH campaign, encouraging
The Fylde peninsula water management partnership also aims to improve the quality of beaches and bathing waters on the Fylde coast, as well as improving coastal protection and reducing the risk of surface water flooding from Fleetwood to Lytham, including Blackpool.
As a result of both group's work, in 2016 all of the Fylde coast's eight beaches passed the stricter revised bathing water directive, with Blackpool South being designated as excellent and being classified as a Blue Flag beach.
Wastewater from homes is sometimes wrongly connected to the surface water drains, which eventually discharge into rivers and streams, and impact our bathing waters.
Keep Britain Tidy has teamed up with United Utilities and the Environment Agency to inspire people to help care for our beaches - every little helps. What you pour down the sink of flush down your toilet can impact on the capacity of our already stretched sewage system. Through Fylde LOVEmyBEACH there are opportunities to volunteer in beach litter picks and spread the message about how special our coastline is. We are visiting schools to spread the message about how we can impact on the quality of our beaches and we’re engaging with local businesses to spread the message and help reach tourists and all beach users.
United Utilities Investment
United Utilities are currently investing large sums of money to help protect and improve bathing waters along the Fylde coastline. This work includes upgrading waste treatment works, building new storage tanks and refurbishing pumping stations.
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
The Fylde Peninsula Water Management Partnership is looking at ways in which existing impacts of pollution and flooding can be reduced through the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems.
Catchment Sensitive Farming
The Environment Agency is working with Natural England and the farming community to reduce the impact of diffuse pollution from farming by identifying areas which are a particular problem. Once identified measures can be put in place to reduce the amount of bacteria reaching rivers and the sea; including simple things like leaving a strip of land between livestock and the river.
Beach Management Measures
The Fylde Peninsula Water Management Partnership is looking at ways in which the management of the beach can help to improve the bathing water quality. Management of the beach includes enforcing dog bans and regulation of donkeys on the beach to reduce the amount of animal faeces reaching the water.
Blackpool Council is a partner in Turning tides, with other local parties across the North West. Turning tides runs a public campaign called LOVEmyBEACH, which aims to get the public involved in looking after their local beaches and bathing waters. Their website gives tips to help you look after water quality, as well as allowing you to sign up to a monthly newsletter.