A five-year £110 million pound clean-up programme has been launched by Yorkshire Water with the aim of achieving the prestigious Blue Flag flying over the beaches along the North Yorkshire coast.
The biggest potential impact on the quality of the water will be by replacing the sewers, overflows, treatment works, and outfalls, which the utility company is due to invest in. Yorkshire Water will also work with its partner organisations, which include the Environmental Agency, Welcome to Yorkshire, and local authorities, to make the desired environmental improvements along the coast.
The “excellence” standards – which is set by the European Revised Bathing Water Directive – is due to come into force in 2015, which has prompted Yorkshire Water to make the changes in order to achieve this standard. The new standard will determine which beaches are eligible for the coveted Blue Flags, known as an international mark of coastal quality, for which the standards required are supposedly twice as high as before.
Graham Dixon, Yorkshire Water’s director of production, was quoted saying that securing the funding to start the project put Yorkshire a step ahead to achieving the standard. He said:
We are fully committed to playing our part and look forward to working with other organisations whose activities can also impact on the marine environment. If we are to succeed, we must all do our bit.