Good bathing water quality

On Wednesday 7th August 2019, a sample of water was taken from Clevedon Marine Lake.  The results indicate that the water quality in the lake is ‘GOOD’, as stated for Coastal and Transitional waters in The Bathing Water Regulations, 2013.

Fresh sea water from the Severn Estuary is next expected to spill over into the lake between 15th – 18th August 2019; these tides are not big enough to fully refresh the lake, simply freshen the water.

Happy crabbing

Crabbing can be an enjoyable way to introduce young children to the marine ecology when done responsibly, so here are some guidelines on good crabbing.

DO’s and DON’Ts

Don’t put too many crabs in one bucket. Stick to 5 per bucket.
Don’t store your bucket in the sun.
Don’t keep them all day long – return them to sea after an hour.
Don’t use a line with a hook on. Either tie a small amount of bait on or use an old pair of tights/bit of net to hold it in.

Do use crabbing bait like bacon sparingly and clean up any scraps.
Do add rocks and seaweed to the bucket to help replicate the crab’s natural environment and reduce stress.
Do hold your crab correctly – gently hold it either side of its shell or pick it up with one finger on top of the shell and one finger underneath – avoiding the claws.
Do remove any crabs which are fighting – male crabs tend to be more aggressive than the females.
Do remember to take all your equipment and rubbish home with you.

REMEMBER: People swim in Clevedon Marine Lake every day, so please consider carefully what bait you use. Ask yourself if you’d feel happy swimming near it? Raw chicken contains harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. Coli so shouldn’t ever be used.

REFRESHING NEWS

Clevedon Marine Lake will be open as normal, full of fresh water from Friday 2nd August, allowing for three overtops to fully refill the lake.  Please note: The lake might not be full on Thursday 1st August.

Refills have become a popular spectacle to watch – as 30 million litres of sea water gushes over the seawall into the lake.  THE LAKE SHOULD REFILL ANY TIME AFTER 6PM ON 31ST JULY.

The penstocks will be opened at around 8am, and volunteers will be cleaning in and around the lake from 10.30am on 31st July.

Clevedon Marine Lake will be closed to the public and fully drained on Wednesday 31st July so that it can refresh with water from the Severn Estuary repeatedly during the next sequence of overtops between 31st July and 5th August.

The water quality will be retested on 7th August, after the overtops.  Updates on the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake are shared here.

There’s always lots to do at the lake in terms of litter picking, cleaning, muscle work and site management, so if you can spare any time to help out, please contact volunteer@marlens.org.uk

POOR WATER QUALITY ADVISORY

A sample was taken from Clevedon Marine Lake on Monday 22nd July and the results indicate that the water quality in the lake is currently poor.

Test results are shared to allow lake users to make an informed decision about entering the water.  Anyone choosing to swim is advised to wear ear plugs and goggles to protect against infection.  All visitors having contact with the lake water are advised to wash or cleanse hands before eating.

The sample taken on 22nd July showed raised levels of enterococci, a naturally occurring bacteria normally present in sea bathing waters.  With lots of people enjoying the lake, sediment from the lakebed has been stirred up.  Combined with storm run-off and the hot weather, bacteria levels have risen.  Although UV in sunlight kills off harmful bacteria, it is only effective at surface level where the light can penetrate.

It is recommended that the public do not swim in the lake until the water has refreshed.  The lake will be drained on Wednesday 31st July so that it can refresh that evening at around 7pm with water from the Severn Estuary – and repeatedly during the next sequence of overtops between 31st July and 5th August.

The water quality will be retested on 7th August, after the overtops.

ADVICE AGAINST BATHING

Swimming in Clevedon Marine Lake is NOT ADVISED until further notice.

A sample was taken from Clevedon Marine Lake on Monday 22nd July and the results indicate that the water quality in the lake has decreased.

The lake will be drained on Wednesday 31st July so that it can refresh with water from the Severn Estuary, then repeatedly during the next sequence of overtops between 31st July and 5th August.

The penstocks will be opened around 8am on 31st July, and the lake should refill any time after 6pm.  Volunteers will be cleaning in and around the lake from 10.30am on 31st July.  Refills have become a popular spectacle to watch – as 30 million litres of sea water gushes over the seawall into the lake.

The water quality will be retested on 7th August, after the overtop.  Updates on the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake are shared here.

There’s always lots to do at the lake in terms of litter picking, cleaning, muscle work and site management, so if you can spare any time to help out, please contact volunteer@marlens.org.uk

Slip hazard in small splash pool

Parents are encouraged to keep youngsters to the big splash pool (pictured) for the time being; it was cleaned and the water refreshed on Thursday, 18th July 2019, so is safe to use.  However, a slippery black algae deposit has been found in the smaller, upper splash pool and the channel between the two pools.  Volunteers will pressure wash and deep clean the small pool and channel next week – but in the meantime, there is a risk of slipping for any children standing on the black deposit.  Further updates on the algae clean-up will be shared here.

The splash pool area at Clevedon Marine Lake is very popular with young children, especially when the weather’s warm.  In February, over £4,000 was spent improving the drain works for the splash pools, to make sluicing and maintenance a lot easier for volunteers.

There’s always lots to do at the lake in terms of litter picking, cleaning, muscle work and site management, so if you can spare any time to help out, please contact volunteer@marlens.org.uk

Do your bit for water quality

Clevedon Marine Lake is a much-loved community asset.  Lake users can follow six simple steps to help keep the water quality good in the lake:

  • No dogs lakeside.
  • Use the public toilets next to the arcade.
  • Use crabbing bait like bacon sparingly and clean up any scraps.
  • Not swim when unwell.
  • Use the drinking tap and freshwater shower adjacent to HM Coastguard Clevedon rescue station.
  • Drop £1 in one of the donation boxes every visit, to help pay for water quality testing and lake care.

During the warm summer months, when the lake is heavily used, the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake is sampled before and after each series of overtopping tides (approximately those over 12.5m) to provide a baseline health check.  The test results are shared to allow lake users to make an informed decision about entering the water.

Poor bathing water quality test results occur from time to time.  The causes include:

  • A prolonged warm spell. Although UV in sunlight kills off harmful bacteria, it is only effective at surface level where the light can penetrate.
  • Heavy usage stirring up sediment from the lakebed.
  • Heavy rainfall causing run-off into the Severn Estuary, entering the lake on overtopping tides.
  • Contamination from human or dog waste.

Clevedon Marine lake is a semi-natural environment.  It is a living space filled by sea water from the Severn Estuary.  Faecal coliforms are present all around us and inside us.  They live in our gut.  Mammals (including humans), fish and birds produce them all the time.  Faecal coliform bacteria can enter aquatic environments through direct discharge of waste from these species, from agricultural and urban storm runoff, and from human sewage.

There is a year-round ‘NO DOGS’ order in place at Clevedon Marine Lake and the splash pool for public health protection, to reduce the risk of unfriendly bacteria draining into the lake.  A single gram of dog waste can contain millions of faecal coliform bacteria, known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans.  Faecal coliform bacteria can also present as eye or ear infections.

Updates on the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake are shared here.  If a poor result is reported, it is recommended that the public do not swim in the lake until the water has refreshed and been retested.  People may choose to use the lake at their own risk in the meantime.  Any swimmers doing so are advised to wear ear plugs and goggles to protect against infection.  All visitors having contact with the lake water are advised to wash hands before eating.

In addition, the water quality in the Severn Estuary, which refills the lake, is monitored regularly by the Environment Agency throughout May to September, with samples taken from Clevedon Beach adjacent to Clevedon Marine Lake.  Poor water quality warnings are issued on-line – and the most recent water quality test results also can be checked.

 

Excellent bathing water quality

On Monday 10th June 2019, a sample of water was taken from Clevedon Marine Lake.  The results indicate the water quality is ‘Excellent’ as stated for Coastal and Transitional waters in The Bathing Water Regulations, 2013.  The lake water will refresh again with overtopping tides on Sunday, 16th June 2019.

Ragworm spawning

Clevedon Marine Lake is a living space, filled by sea water from the Severn Estuary which is alive with marine life.  Due to its high tidal range, the estuary has one of the most extensive intertidal wildlife habitats in the UK, comprising mudflats, sand flats, rocky platforms and islands.  These form a basis for plant and animal communities typical of extreme physical conditions of liquid mud and tide-swept sand and rock. The estuary is recognised as a wetland area of international importance, and parts are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Thanks to this rich biodiversity, a natural phenomenon occurred at Clevedon Marine Lake on Thursday 23rd May 2019.  Visitors noticed clusters of activity under the water’s surface.  The pinkish creatures skiting about were spawning ragworm.  They look a lot like an underwater millipede.  Ragworms emerge from their burrows in late spring and swim freely to spawn at the water’s surface.  The event is part of nature’s cycle and will pass as quickly as it started.

The lake remains open for use whilst this natural process works its way through.  Some swimmers continue with their laps unfazed; others prefer to wait a couple of days.  It’s part of being a semi-natural environment.

The ragworm is highly common around the UK. They live in burrows located between the high tide and low tide points on sandy and muddy beaches and are often found in areas which offer some form of shelter, such as coves, harbours and estuaries. They feed on plankton and other small particles. They are widely used by anglers for bait.

 

 

Splashing out on the splash pool

From Monday 11th to 20th March, Clevedon Marine Lake will be partially drained to enable contractors to access the inner lake wall to install an inlet valve in the splash pool wall – timed to avoid overtopping tides.  The splash pool area will be fenced off for the week from 10th March.  As the water level will be lowered, the lake will also be unavailable to users.  The lake should refill on Tuesday 19th March at around 6pm.

The new drain works for the splash pool, costing over £4,000, will make sluicing and maintenance of the splash pool a lot easier for volunteers – as it normally requires pressure washers and electric pumps to clean it thoroughly.  In future, thanks to this project, the same will be achieved using the sea wall valve to drain the pool and the lake wall valve to let water in to flush everything through.  The investment will be well worthwhile, also enabling youngsters to enjoy good, clean fun every time they visit the splash pool.

There’s lots to do from Sunday afternoon on March 10th until March 19th, in terms of litter picking, muscle work and site management, so if you can spare any time to help out, please contact volunteer@marlens.org.uk