The revised Bathing Waters Directive is imposing stricter microbial standards for designated waters from 2015. The classification scheme may also be modified in the future to remove ‘sufficient’ which will raise the bar of minimal compliance to ‘good.’ How can water companies best use their resources to meet these new demands?
Water companies are implementing measures to reduce contributions from the sewerage network through increased storage capacity and enhanced treatment (disinfection). They are also working closely in Bathing Water partnerships to quantify and tackle the other sources of faecal indicator organisms (FIOs). Working within these partnerships may provide a cost-beneficial route for a water company to use its resources to address FIO sources that do not originate from its assets.
In the same way that catchment management has been used successfully for the protection of drinking water, defined FIO load reductions can be achieved through interventions in the catchment at a lower cost than hard engineering solutions. For example, there is a significant opportunity to capitalise on catchment interventions, part funded by other agencies, that are aimed at reducing FIO loads in run-off from farms and farmland.
The objective of this project is to enable companies to identify and quantify when catchment management offers the more cost-effective option than traditional, capital intensive hard engineering solutions.
BUSINESS BENEFITS TO CLIENTS
- Optimal use of water company funding within bathing water partnerships to maximise bathing water compliance.
- Understand and agree the relative contributions from all FIO sources for designated waters and determine the load reductions required to achieve environmental objectives into the future.
- Identify and agree hard engineering and catchment management measures used for reducing FIO loads.
- Establish information needs and sources for the cost and efficacy of all measures.
- Develop the cost-effective analysis tool that identifies and optimises options for the control of diffuse sources of FIOs.
PROJECT OUTPUT AND IMPLEMENTATION
- A cost effective analysis tool to facilitate optioneering and optimisation of planned company investment where hard engineering or catchment management provide solutions to meet bathing water objectives into the future.
RELATED WRc WORK
- Risk assessment for FIOs in bathing and shellfish waters, Environment Agency
- Reference Document on the implementation of the monitoring and assessment aspects of the revised Bathing Water Directive, European Commission
- Framework for quantifying the benefits of water quality catchment management initiatives, UKWIR