Swimmers safely return to East Devon waters after Exmouth pollution bathe ban is lifted

Swimmers have been returning to the sea across beaches in East Devon after the lifting of a pollution warning sparked by the recent end-of-the-heatwave wet weather.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) recently announced a pollution alert for bathers had been lifted for Exmouth beach.

EDDC said on Friday (August 19) swimmers could safely return to the water on all beaches in East Devon.

The district council said East Devon beach closures were automatic if an Environment Agency pollution alert was received.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “East Devon District Council is pleased to announce the Environment Agency pollution alert has been lifted at Exmouth.

“This now means bathing can take place on all the district’s beaches for everyone again, following the recent alerts due to severe weather warnings which could have affected the river catchments.”

The district council said it receives daily pollution predictions from the Environment Agency for four months during the holiday and tourist season, charting the water conditions at Exmouth, Budleigh, Ladram, Sidmouth Jacobs Ladder, Sidmouth Town, Beer, and Seaton.

The daily alerts were an indication of risk and not a report of pollution, EDDC said.

The district council said of the Environment Agency’s pollution warnings:

  • Between 15 May and 30 September EDDC receives a daily ‘pollution forecast’ from the Environment Agency for all the registered bathing waters (Exmouth, Budleigh, Ladram, Sidmouth Jacobs Ladder, Sidmouth Town, Beer, and Seaton).  These forecasts are based on a range of factors including rain over the various river catchments, wind, known pollution events.
  • This is a forecast of potential pollution risk not a report of a specific incident.
  • These forecasts are also sent straight to the electronic signs which are located at all our beaches.  During an alert of this type, it is mandatory requirement that bathing is closed, and signs displayed.
  • Because these alerts look at the whole river catchment affecting the bathing water, they are more frequent at Exmouth and Budleigh since the Exe and Otter catchments are much larger than the Sid or the Axe.

Check your favourite beach’s water quality here.

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