Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Blue Flag Disaster For Thanet’s Beaches.

Minnis Bay, St. Mildred’s Bay, West Bay in Westgate, Margate Main Sands, Stone Bay, Viking Bay and Ramsgate Main Sands, have all lost their blue flag status.

Botany Bay, Joss Bay and Westbrook Bay are the only Thanet beaches to receive Blue Flag awards.

What we have here is a government funded and large company funded award system that fails to cough up the basic criteria of stopping you swimming around in sewage, blue flag or no blue flag.

Right engineering hat as promised.

The problem here can best be summed up as, if you want a blue flag you need a brown flag too and some good communications so that the council know when to fly it.

The problem here is one of old drains mixed system drains that are too expensive to replace that cause problems when we get a heavy rainstorm.

These mixed system drains have sewage and rainwater runoff in them and most of the time everything in them goes off to the sewage plant and is properly processed so that the water that is discharged into the sea is safe and clean.

On occasions we have a large rainstorm or a pump failure, sometimes a combination of the two, meaning there is nowhere for all the waste water and sewage to go, in these instances an emergency discharge is made via one of the several outfall pipes into the sea.

These discharges are properly monitored and the water company has the information relating to the few occasions when the sea is contaminated.

My understanding is that if on these occasions the council put up signs notifying the public that the sea was contaminated then we would be able to retain our blue flag status on the effected beaches.  

What happens instead is that nothing happens, by this I mean that after Southern Water make an emergency discharge of sewage near to one of our bathing beaches, this doesn’t result in the council taking down the blue flag and putting up warning signs telling people the sea is contaminated.

I tried last year to get the council to set up a system to overcome this problem, the result appears to have been inaction causing most of our beaches to be stripped of their blue flag status.


I will add to this one 


  1. I'm trying to remember when we had that downpour.

  2. 16.35 this is the Ramsgate one that caused the very high result last year;

    Pump failure 10 July Military Road pump station, engineer sent; wet well went to high level, 120 to 150 Litres per sec sent to Wetherlees.

    Wet weather between 02.00 and 04.30 12th July 7.6mm rainfall. Pump No. 2 failed 02.00 resulting in emergency discharge early am.”

  3. TDC just can't be bothered, the leadership is a chief executive and a bunch of directors who don't live in thanet have no interest apart from their inflated salary.
    Its about time councillors actually did what they were elected for, rather than swanning of on trips to china, wigan and all points east & west, and gave some direction to the officers.

  4. Yesterday I visited Turner for the first time. It is certainly a step in the right direction, but it still has a long way to go. There is a dearth of exhibits. The restaurant is overpriced. It appears to be run by the I saw you coming school of catering. I was charged £1.90 for a tiny cup of lukewarm coffee.

    I went across the road to Peter's Fish Factory for a good value meal. The amiable girl serving told me that her business had increased as a direct result of the Turner opening. She said there had been coach parties from London and Deal.

    This was good news to me.
    I sincerely wish the Turner well. I believe it can be an important tool in the much need regeneration of Thanet. But at the moment it is little more than an indifferent and overpriced cafe with a few art exhibits attached. My daughter, who knows the The Tourism industry, has faith. I trust her judgement.

  5. Oh dear I see you've had a telling off from the Flying Doctor for presumably daring to suggest that there is a possibility that the Council might be slightly responsible for this damaging blow to our local economy. Or was your crime daring to mention the loss of the Blue Flags?

  6. Michael this removal of Blue Flags is down to the changes by the EU regarding discharges into the sea. In an ideal world we wouldnt get them but if we discharge the same this year as last year we will not qualify even though your figures are the same EU say non. I saw an article by sufers against sewage on TV AND A lot of authorities wont bother to try and gain the flags as an offset against added tourism it just aint worth it so it looks like the EU maybe dictating to far.

  7. Oh right! So it's all the Euros fault then!!
    Thank goodness for that. I thought for a minute, it was the fault of an incompetent and indifferent council!.
    Silly moi.

  8. Its all as clear as.............the sea that we're swimming in!

  9. suprising isn't it was it only 2 years ago that tdc were trumpeting how wonderful they were getting 8 blue flags.
    Whatever the why's and wherefores it can't just be down to the EU Torbay seemed to have managed ok. Its a shame that our bunch of incompetents can't do as well.

  10. Don and the anonymi I have put up a new post above as this a post where the council have commented considerably and it was easier to do it this way.

    John as I said before I am going down the road of making the best of the Turner, not a lot else we can do, I have tried contacting the architect about various problems with the building and received no response.

  11. Bill you don’t go into the spam folder if you have a blogger id like Ken, I suspect that Simon missed it as he has comment moderation set, so he has to allow comments before they appear.

    I have emailed Simon pointing out that he may have missed your comment Ken, he is usually pretty good about publishing mine, even the ones that disagree with his point of view.


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