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Bathing water quality

Sea water sampling follows the procedure set out in the 1976 European Directive on Bathing Water (76/160) is carried out at 19 beach locations throughout the island. Samples are collected for a 20 week period between May and September when bathing is most likely to occur at the Island’ beaches.

The samples are subjected to microbiological analysis for faecal indicator organisms (e.g. e.coli) the results from which allow the water to be categorised in to "poor", "good" and "excellent" qualities. The results are displayed at prominent locations near the beaches in order to inform beach users and on the Isle of Man Government Laboratory webpage

The Isle of Man's sewage system has been undergoing substantial modernisation in recent years, commencing with the major 'IRIS' (Integration and Recycling of the Island’s Sewage) scheme which has effectively dealt with human sewage from the southern half of the Island since 2005, and continuing with a programme of smaller treatment works in other locations which in due course should ensure that all sewage is adequately treated. Improvements in bathing water quality have been evident in the regular monitoring data as the modernisation has progressed. Further work is being undertaken by Manx Utilities to cease all discharges of raw sewage into the Isle of Man’s coastal waters. 

The location of the sampling beaches, proximity of sewage outfalls and levels of treatment given to the sewage can be seen as follows: 

Sampling beachNational grid referenceNearest sewage outfallTreatment level
Douglas (Summerhill) SC 3925 7720 Transferred to IRIS Full
Douglas (Central) SC 3884 7685 Transferred to IRIS Full
Douglas (Broadway) SC 3846 7631 Transferred to IRIS Full
Laxey SC 4421 8356 300m North East None
Ramsey SC 4552 9453 1600m North Full
Peel SC 2439 8447 250m North East None
Port Erin SC 1942 6897 Transferred to IRIS Full
Port St Mary SC 2122 6814 Transferred to IRIS Full
Castletown SC 2710 6762 Transferred to IRIS Full
Deryhaven SC 2866 6734 Transferred to IRIS Full
Kirk Michael (Balleira) SC 3131 9144 100m North West Full
Port Soderick SC 3474 7267 None  
Bay-ny-Carrickey SC 2215 6880 Transferred to IRIS Full
Jurby SC 3522 9981 150m North West Full
Fenella (Peel) SC 2414 8444 750m round Island None
Garwick SC 4353 8138 300m South East None

For further information, please contact +44 1624 685885 or email environmentalprotection@gov.im

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