Water quality is still poor

Our latest tests show that water quality is poor. This means that the water in the marine lake does not meet EU standards for bathing water quality.

The sample of water taken from Clevedon Marine Lake on June 10th showed that the water had higher levels of bacteria than is deemed safe for swimming. The community made a huge effort to empty and clean the lake following the last poor water quality test, but it did not solve the problem as hoped. It is likely that the water from the estuary that refilled the lake was also below standard.

You should not swim in the lake until it has been emptied and refreshed, especially if you have lowered immunity.

If you do swim, please wear goggles and earplugs to protect yourself, and wash your hands before eating.

Red flags around the lake show that swimming is not advised.

Marlens, the charity that looks after the lake will today be deciding on a course of action to refresh the lake once more. Small overtops are due on the 5th to 6th July, although these may not be enough to refill the lake. The next major overtop isn’t until July 21st to 24th.

About water quality

The water quality in the Severn Estuary, which refills the lake, is monitored by the Environment Agency from May to September, with samples taken from Clevedon Beach next to Clevedon Marine Lake. Poor water quality warnings for the estuary are issued online and often coincide with periods of heavy rain, causing run-off from the land. But, the Environment Agency is not currently testing as normal because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The current tests show the levels of enterococci bacteria remain high compared to previous water samples.

Red flag shows poor water quality

Red flags at Clevedon Marine Lake show poor water quality

Red flag means poor water quality

If a red flag is flying, it means the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake is currently POOR.

A sample was taken from Clevedon Marine Lake on Thursday 28th May and the results indicate that the water quality in the lake is currently POOR.  More information can be found here.

It is recommended that the public do not swim in the lake until the water has refreshed, especially if unwell or with low immunity.

Information is shared to allow lake users to make an informed decision about entering the water.

Alerts are shared on notices either end of the lake (see below), social media and via our BLOG to explain the situation and actions being taken.

Clevedon Marine Lake is a semi-natural environment.  It is a living space filled by sea water from the Severn Estuary.  Consequently, there are risks associated with entering the water.

What’s Up

Things are hotting up at the lake – quite literally – with the easing of lockdown and some spectacular weather…

Stepping up to the mark

With crowds literally flooding the lake over half-term week, not only have the bins been overflowing, but the amount of rubbish left around the lake has been shameful.  Thanks to volunteers like Gill (pictured above) and many others, including a growing number of new helpers and hands-on locals, the lake has been looking spick and span every morning before 9am!  What a great job Marlens’ volunteers do.  THANK YOU.

Don’t overstep the mark – Stay 2m apart.

The lake has remained open as a place for individual exercise during lockdown – conditional on social distancing.  It has been extraordinarily busy over half-term and social distancing is not being observed.  Towards the end of the week, volunteers sprayed 123 yellow lines, 2m apart on the lower promenade to help people manage their space.  With spray can supplies replenished, more will appear this week!

Water quality testing

The first sample taken on Thursday 28th May recorded a result of POOR water quality in the lake.  The water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake will be sampled before and after each series of overtopping tides (approximately those over 12.5m), during the warm summer months when the lake is heavily used.  The testing schedule is below.

  1. 4th – 8th June
  2. 21st – 24th July
  3. 18th – 23rd August
  4. 16th – 22nd September

There are marginal overtops 5th – 6th July and 4th – 5th August.  These will only be tested if there is an indication of water quality problems.

Two red flags have been put up, one at either end of the lake, adjacent to the information boards with an explanatory notice.  A red flag means the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake is currently POOR.  The latest test results and alerts are shared on social media, via our BLOG and lakeside to explain the situation and actions being taken.  Information is shared to allow lake users to make an informed decision about entering the water.

If the water quality in the lake is tested as POOR, it is recommended that the public do not swim in the lake until the water has refreshed, especially if unwell or with low immunity.  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.

Repairs

Following the 14m high tides around April’s Full Moon on 8th, there was a rockslide along the entry ramp leading to the pump house.  Contractors were on site w/c 18/5/20 making good the area, with a rather splendid retaining wall!

 

Getting the message across

If you are in or around the lake over the coming weeks, we are asking everyone to help spread these messages:

  • Help us Help the Lake. Marlens’ charity and a team of volunteers, run the lake, not North Somerset Council.
  • It costs £20,000 p.a. to keep Clevedon Marine Lake open to the public.
  • The lake is a semi-natural environment like a beach or river. Users enter at their own risk. Be safety aware.
    • Cold water – Know your limits.
    • Shallow perimeter – No diving or jumping in.
    • Uneven lakebed – Look at the lake map to understand where it is deep and shallow.
    • Underwater hazards like rocks – Risk of cuts and grazes, minimise contact with lakebed.
    • Overtopping tidesCheck tide times & heights before each visit; don’t enter the lake when it’s overtopping.
  • Respect the lake and its inhabitants. Bag and bin any litter – or even better, take it home.  Leave crabs as happy as you found them – and no bait scraps or fish hooks.

Friends of Clevedon Marine Lake

If you’re a Friend of Clevedon Marine Lake, why not become a friend for life?  We kindly ask Friends to consider setting up a standing order for £50 a year to become a perennial Friend, to continue supporting the lake, at less than £1 a week.  This can be done via on-line banking ‘Payments & Transfers’, set up as an annual transaction using the following details  * Account name:  MARLENS * Sort code:  20-94-74 * Account number:  13465160 * Reference:  Perennial Friend.

Sign up to Marlens’ Lottery

Alternatively, if you fancy a punt on Clevedon Marine Lake, with better odds of winning than the National Lottery, you can now sign up to Marlens’ Lottery on-line.  Marlens’ Lottery was launched in August 2015 to create a steady income to help run Clevedon Marine Lake throughout the year, following its renovation.

Lost and Found

Lost property is regularly picked up by MARLENS’ volunteers from around the lake and stored in the boathouse. For items left behind, contact 07867 336480.

Water quality is POOR

A sample was taken from Clevedon Marine Lake on Thursday 28th May and the results indicate that the water quality in the lake is currently poor.

It is recommended that the public do not swim in the lake until the water has refreshed, especially if unwell or with low immunity.

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.

Clevedon Marine Lake will be closed all day Wednesday and Thursday this week, as well as early Friday morning, to drain and refresh the water.  The lake will fully refill during Friday’s high spring tide at 7.20am – and will be accessible to the public from 9am on 5th June.  The water quality will be retested on Tuesday 9th June after the series of overtopping tides.

Two red flags will be put up at the lake today, located at either end of the lake, adjacent to the information boards with an explanatory notice.

When a red flag is flying, it means the water quality in Clevedon Marine Lake is POOR.

Alerts are also shared on social media and via our BLOG to explain the situation and actions being taken.  Information is shared to allow lake users to make an informed decision about entering the water.

The schedule for testing water quality during the warm summer months, when the lake is heavily used, is detailed below.  Samples are taken before and after each series of overtopping tides (approximately those over 12.5m).

4 – 8th June

21st – 24th July

18th – 23rd August

16th – 22nd September

There are marginal overtops 5th – 6th July and 4th – 5th August.  These will only be tested if there is an indication of water quality problems.

Under normal circumstances, 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 for the estuary are issued on-line and often coincide with periods of heavy rain, causing run-off from the land.

The lake will be CLOSED on 3rd and 4th June, reopening on 5th from 9am

Clevedon Marine Lake will be closed all day Wednesday and Thursday this week, as well as early Friday morning, to drain and refresh the water following high usage during the half-term heatwave.

The lake will fully refill during Friday’s high spring tide at 7.20am – and will be accessible to the public from 9am on 5th June.  The water quality will be tested on Tuesday 9th June after the series of overtopping tides.

Visitors should check the times and heights of high tides before coming to the lake.  The sea overtops the outer wall of Clevedon Marine Lake at the top of high spring tides of 12.6m or more – refreshing the water in the lake.  The lake becomes part of the Severn Estuary and the seawall is no longer visible.  In addition, the lower promenade can completely disappear underwater during overtops.

Visitors should not enter the lake during overtops, and allow at least one hour either side of these times before entering the lake:

OVERTOPS

First high tide

Second high tide

Friday 5th June

7.20am

7.47pm

Saturday 6th June

8.08am

8.33pm

Sunday 7th June

8.54am

9.17pm

Monday 8th June

9.37am

10.00pm

Visitors are asked to use the lake and surrounds respectfully:

  1. Take all rubbish home.
  2. Use the public toilets behind the arcade.
  3. Barbecue on the beach not by the lake.
  4. Respect social distancing on the promenade using the yellow spray lines to stay 2m apart.
  5. Stay off the pontoon (blue island in the middle of the lake) as it is too small to support social distancing.

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.

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

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.