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Bathing water sites are welcome, but more needs to be done to tackle ‘invisible’ pollutants

Updated: Jul 10

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs has announced that it has designated a further 27 sites for bathing, taking the total number of bathing sites in England to 451.

27 new bathing water sites announced by the UK Government

Water quality will be monitored by the Environment Agency, who will work with local communities, farmers, and water companies to improve water quality at the sites.

Bathing Water Regulations

Ahead of a planned Government consultation on reforms to Bathing Water Regulations for England, water treatment specialist, Curio Water, is suggesting that further action is also needed to address ‘invisible’ pollutants in our bathing waters.

Managing Director of Curio Water, Howard Marles, said, “Any action by Defra to improve the quality of bathing waters is welcome, and we hope that, alongside monitoring and enforcement by the Environment Agency, the initiative will be effective.

“However, while most of the attention is given to raw effluent, concentrations of synthetic micropollutants in our water ways is increasing in line with the use of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and personal care products.

“Water companies and effluent producers need to be actively looking at how technologies such as ozone treatment can address the issue, ahead of legislation expected to be introduced by the EU and the UK government.”

UK’s first ozone treatment plants

At present, Curio is working with Severn Trent Water to build the UK’s first ozone treatment plants that will test the impact of ozone as an additional treatment to address micropollutants such as pharmaceuticals and antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The investment is part of Severn Trent’s Bathing Rivers work, with the water treatment plant in Frankton the first to install the new technology this year, helping improve water quality in the River Teme. Two further plants Ludlow and Itchen Bank in the Severn Trent region will also come on stream in 2024.

Europe’s first ozonation system for the treatment of micropollutants was installed in the ARA Neugut wastewater plant, near Dübendorf, Switzerland. Curio provided the engineering, installation and commissioning support for the project, installing an Ozonia® ozonation system designed by Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions. The Neugut site, which is designed to treat 2,400 m3 per hour, had a target to eliminate 80 percent of indicator compounds. Since coming on stream, the system has on average exceeded 90% of micropollutant removal.

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