Did you know that Escherichia coli (E. coli) is named after Theodor Escherich, the German bacteriologist who discovered it in 1885, and the species name coli, which means derived from the colon?!
And did you know that every year between May and September over 600 designated bathing waters around the UK’s coast are tested weekly for E.coli and intestinal enterococci. These are the two bacterial indicators used to measure water quality and based on the results, each designated bathing water is given a classification of “Excellent”, “Good”, “Sufficient” or “Poor”. With the classification being displayed locally and online, water users will have up-to-date information to decide if, when and where to bathe.
Water quality can be influenced by many factors including sewer overflows, misconnections, rainwater run-off from roads and agricultural land, animals and boats. So with the sailing season now underway along with the bathing waters testing programme, it’s a good time for a reminder on the best ways to get rid of blackwater as responsibly as possible when on board.
If your boat has a holding tank, use a pump out facility. Plan ahead and if possible find your nearest marina or harbour where you can refuel and pump out at the same time. There is a free pump-out facility at Shepards Wharf Marina in Cowes available year-round. If you don’t have a holding tank, try to empty the heads as far offshore as possible. And of course, last but not least, remember to use onshore facilities before you depart!
For a list of pump out facilities in the UK visit: thegreenblue.org.uk/Pump-Out-Directory.
For more information on sustainable boating contact The Green Blue – the joint environment initiative of the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine or visit thegreenblue.org.uk or for information on bathing water quality in England visit environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles.