Designated bathing water and classifications
Worthing Borough Council would like residents views on the Council’s plan to apply for designated bathing water status for the beach between the pier and Splash Point in Worthing (Worthing Beach House).
A bathing water is a coastal (or inland) water that attracts a relatively large number of bathers; either at bigger resorts, such as Worthing, or sites popular for their size, such as Southwick.
Worthing Borough currently has one designated bathing water, located near Heene Road, whereas Adur District has three – Southwick, Shoreham Beach and Lancing, Beach Green.
Designation of a bathing water is a nationally recognised status, made by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Weekly water quality sampling is undertaken by the Environment Agency throughout each bathing season (May to September) at all designated bathing waters.
These samples are then used to classify the bathing water, ranging from ‘Poor’ to ‘Excellent’. Classifications and pollution forecasting schemes (where applicable) then inform beach users about potential health risks at a bathing water.
What the Council is proposing for Beach House waters
Worthing Borough Council is seeking to obtain designated bathing water status for a stretch of the beach between the pier and Splash Point in East Worthing. They have named this ‘Worthing Beach House’. If the application is successful, they aim to have this designation in place by the start of the next bathing season, in May 2023.
There has been a desire to designate an additional bathing water to the east of the Town Centre. The Coastal Office team undertake patrols throughout the year and suggested popular bathing areas. Public Health & Regulation then considered the proximity to Lancing, Beach Green bathing water, potential threats to water quality and risks to bathers.
This resulted in an area being selected close to Beach House Grounds (BN11 2FG). This proposed bathing water area was also accepted by the Environment Agency as a safe and suitable site for water sampling to be completed.
The application for designation requires at least 20 beach user surveys – headcounts of all those present on the beach or in the water. Beach user numbers may be in the mid-hundreds so the areas between the wooden groynes have been called zones A to K and can be surveyed separately.
The surveys are currently being conducted and will identify the most popular zones. The results may then support a reduction of the proposed area to the length of Beach Parade (zones D to I); in order to avoid obstacles such as a redundant outfall and boulders near Warwick Road.
Visit www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/worthing-beach-house-consultation-2022 for Beach House survey link. Closing date for comments is Tuesday 20th September 2022