Once you have submitted your application the government agency will hold their own public consultation. This will be available on their website for the public to easily find and to give their feedback. Encourage your community to engage with this consultation also. Share the link on social media or via a newsletter if you have collected email addresses of those in your community network. The agency will also consult with a number of organisations directly, which includes Surfers Against Sewage.
Before a decision is made, consultation will take place between DEFRA/SEPA/WG/DAERA and with the environmental agency who will monitor the water quality. Any additional information about the inland waterway will be raised. Ministers make the final decision on whether your application is successful. The government agency that you applied to will contact you, the local authority, water company and landowner with a decision on your application before the next bathing season commences.
If your application is successful
The EA/SEPA/NRW/DAERA will create a bathing water profile for the bathing site and specify a water quality testing location. These agencies are obliged to test the water quality regularly throughout the bathing season. This information will be on the agency’s website linked below:
Northern Ireland: DAERA
England: Environment Agency
Wales: Natural Resources Wales
The local council must display signage at the bathing site containing information about the water quality and pollution sources. Once the first bathing water season has ended for a newly designated site the EA/SEPA/NRW/DAERA will give the bathing water site its first water quality classification of Excellent, Good, Sufficient or Poor. If the bathing site receives a designation of Poor then the environmental agency must take measures to prevent, reduce or eliminate the causes of pollution.
If it’s not successful this time
If your application is declined and designation is not received contact the agency to find out the specifics of why your application wasn’t successful. Raise a Freedom of Information (FOI) request if needed. Contact Surfers Against Sewage Community Water Quality Manager to discuss how we can support you.