Gurnard beach water quality

Gurnard beach water quality

Gurnard beach is designated as bathing water where water quality is monitored from May to September by the Environment Agency

Bathing water quality at Gurnard can be affected by the Gurnard Luck which flows into the sea to the west of the beach and storm outfalls at the northern end of the Esplanade and from Marsh Road, particularly after heavy rainfall. Two smaller streams enter the centre and north of this bathing water but are not known to affect bathing water compliance.

Gurnard  beach often has patches of seaweed (macroalgae) and the bathing water can be affected by occasional blooms of phytoplankton (microscopic algae) which are not harmful, but can result in the water appearing discoloured or as foam forming on the water. The risks to human health from contact, ingestion or inhalation with marine algae that currently occur in UK coastal waters are considered to be low. However, some individuals may be more sensitive and display some reactions. A common marine algae found in UK coastal waters is Phaeocystis, which is often mistaken for sewage as it forms foam and a brown scum, but it is non-toxic.

Pollution risk forecasts
This bathing water is subject to short term pollution procedures. The Environment Agency makes a daily pollution risk forecast based on the effects of rain, tide, wind and seasonality. These factors affect the levels of bacteria that get washed into the sea from livestock, sewage and urban drainage via rivers and streams and how they disperse.

Gurnard Beach Surface water catchment area

When short term pollution is likely a pollution risk warning is issued and a warning is displayed at this bathing water and online. After a pollution risk warning, levels of bacteria usually return to normal after a day or so, but it’s possible to have several warning days in a row. In 2022 8 pollution risk warnings were issued at this bathing water.

For more information
The full details for this bathing water, its catchment, information on all potential pollution sources and how they are managed can be viewed on the Environment Agency website: