Water pollution

'Most of St Aubin's Bay safe for swimmers again'

Pollution sign

St Aubin's Bay water has returned to 'excellent' following pollution into the bay after a slurry spill last week, but swimmers are still being advised to not use Victoria Pool.

Samples indicate the water quality is excellent everywhere else in the bay, but Victoria Pool still shows poor quality and will be sampled again on Monday, the Government of Jersey said.

Environmental Health recommends islanders chose not to swim in the pool, but says they can enjoy the rest of the beach and bathing waters.

Jersey 'must take more care of water sources'

BBC Radio Jersey

Susie De Carteret
Susie De Carteret

A slurry spill in Jersey, which contaminated a reservoir, showed the island must take more care of its water sources, the environment minister has said.

Deputy John Young said the island's streams needed to be protected from pollution more effectively in the future.

He said: "We need to recognise these streams, not only are they beautiful and lovely sources of wildlife, they are feeding into our drinking water supply eventually.

"We need to be more sustainable in our practices and we'll learn lessons from this incident once the investigation's complete."

St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft said he hoped the spill would be cleared quickly so people could be encouraged back to the beach.

He added that he was glad there were no tourists affected as none were on the island during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mr Crowcroft said if visitors had been "prevented from using one of major beaches, that wouldn't send out a good signal".

People 'could get sick from bay slurry contamination'

BBC Radio Jersey

St Aubins Bay contamination sign

People could get symptoms similar to food poisoning if they swam in water contaminated by animal waste in St Aubin's Bay, Jersey environment officials have said.

Scientists are still testing the water in the bay after a spillage of slurry in Fern Valley this week, and have recommended people stay out of the sea until they were sure it was safe.

Environmental health boss Caroline Maffia said they wanted people to stay off the beach and out of the water for their own safety because the pollution could make people ill.

These things are unlikely to do anything serious to you, but it's pretty miserable and quite lonely if you do get ill from it."

Caroline MaffiaEnvironmental Health

The spillage polluted a stream which supplies water to nearby reservoirs, which had to be closed off from the island system.

Mark Bowden was the first Jersey Water engineer on site when the spill happened.

He said it would have to be "physically cleaned and flushed out... until we can be satisfied that this site is appropriate for reintroduction".

St Aubin's slurry spill being investigated

Slurry spill in Fern Valley
Susie De Carteret

An investigation is under way into the slurry spillage in St Aubin's bay, Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham confirmed.

He said he was "bitterly disappointed" by the pollution, which has caused an "enormous problem" in the area, but admitted he had not spoken to any local businesses about the spill when visiting the area.

Senator Farnham said: "It couldn't have come at a worst time.

"We're just waiting now to find out what action can be taken and what we can do from an environmental point of view to get it cleared up as quickly as possible."

He said the current big tides would help speed up the process.

"We must get to the bottom of how and why it happened," he added.

Slurry spill 'could lead to a shortage in water supplies'

Fern Valley
Susie De Carteret

A valley polluted by a spill of animal waste is a key water catchment area for the island, and the spill could lead to a shortage in supplies in the hottest part of the year, Jersey Water says.

The slurry was spilled in Fern Valley, polluting a stream which is used to feed Millbrook reservoir.

Jersey Water said a farmer called the company late on Tuesday evening to say there had been a spill.

It flowed down the stream and out into St Aubin's Bay, prompting Environmental Health to ask people to stay off the beach and out of the sea across the whole bay.

The reservoir is unable to be used because some of the waste was pumped to it before the supply was diverted.

The water company said the water from taps was safe as the reservoir had been taken out of use until it was found to be clean.

However, the company said it could prove a challenge in the long term as resources were stretched during the summer.

Meanwhile the National Trust for Jersey has closed its site at Fern Valley as the spill was said to have had a significant effect on the its land and it said it wanted to ensure public safety.

Pollution sign at St Aubin's Bay

French alarm at coronavirus pollution

Europe's beaches beckon as countries around the continent ease their lockdowns, and millions still hope to have a holiday abroad.

But a video shot by a French NGO in the Mediterranean shows masks and gloves littering the seabed.

Opération mer propre (Operation clean sea) is trying to clean up the coast near the French Riviera resort of Antibes.

It is alarmed by this new coronavirus pollution, which adds to the already chronic problem of plastic pollution.

Soiled latex gloves and masks found on seabed near Antibes