A number of North Wales beaches have lost their Blue Flag status despite the efforts of Councils, Environment Agency and Welsh Water.

Yet further indication that an ill-wind that brings the rain does no good to anyone other than the vegetables in my garden is once again proved to be true.

Anglesey Blue Flag Beaches - Rhosneigr

Anglesey is renowned in Britain for its fabulous beaches and coastline and hopefully will not be impacted too greatly by the wet conditions this summer because of the rainfall run off.

However, the beaches at Llandudno's West Shore, Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfechan beaches in Conwy have failed to achieve the high standards of European Water Quality Standards required for a Blue Flag.

Heavy rainfall does tend to wash down nutrients onto beaches and in bay areas can add to the ambient nutrient that encourages the growth of algal blooms.

It is the bacteriological count (e.coli and coliforms) that is the main measurement of water quality.

Where does this come from?

During periods of extended or spontaneous heavy rainfall, sewage treatment plants are allowed by consented conditions with Environment Agency Wales to discharge storm water overflow in the appropriate watercourse.

This untreated effluent is allowed because for the condition to arise that requires storm overflow then the dilution level is more than adequate to save the watercourse from bacteriological damage and oxygen depletion.

But it all gets down to the sea where it can mess up the quality of bathing waters, as for Llandudno's West Shore, Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfechan.

Anglesey Award Winning Beaches

Lovers of our beautiful Island beaches are obviously holding their breath. The Flag status is an immense attraction and assurance for the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors to the Island.

These flags are awarded by Keep Wales Tidy three of 42 in total. Keep Wales Tidy spokesman Wynne Williams said: "It's disappointing that the three beaches have been forced to remove their flags.

"However, the public can be assured all land based criteria are met."

The annual environmental awards rate beaches for clean water, litter-free shores, good facilities and safety standards.

Official Responses

In a statement to BBC Wales, Mr Wynne Williams said, "Conwy County Council have put in a lot of time and effort into raising standards at their beaches and it will no doubt be a blow for them that the beaches have lost their Blue Flag status for reasons beyond their control."

Sian Williams, of Environment Agency Wales,Conwy Council and Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water) to identify the causes of the poor water quality.

"We hope to find the causes and take action to improve bathing water quality here and across Wales to support the tourist trade so vital to our economy," she said.

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