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Swimmers warned of poor water quality at Walpole Bay, Thanet

Signs advising people not to swim at a Kent beach will be erected this weekend after it was handed a poor water quality rating.

Ten beaches in England will be home to the signs tomorrow (Sunday) - including Walpole Bay at Cliftonville in Thanet.

The bay, which features a promenade and tidal pool, was given a poor rating under new EU water quality regulations.

Walpole Bay
Walpole Bay

Under the measures, any beach classified as poor is required to display an ‘advice against bathing’ sign.

The advisory symbol does not restrict people from swimming there, but is meant to provide beach users with a more informed choice before they swim.

Despite Walpole Bay's poor rating, Thanet's 12 other bathing waters passed the EU regulations, with eight classified excellent and four good or sufficient.

According to the Thanet District Council website, Walpole Bay received 17 acceptable water quality results out of 20 weekly samples last year.

It added that the new guidelines now rely on historic readings dating back four years.

The authority's head of operational services, Geoff Dunne, told the council's website: “Each week starting from Sunday, May 15, the Environment Agency will be testing the water quality at Walpole – along with all of our other bathing water beaches.

"We’ll be posting the results on a sign at each bathing water beach.

"A green sticker will be used to indicate an acceptable water quality reading and a red one to indicate any failures. There will also be a link so people can view the full breakdown online.

"We’ve already spoken to a number of the swimmers who use the popular Walpole tidal pool to ensure they’re aware and to encourage them to keep a check on the more up to date results which we’re hopeful will be positive."

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