Good water rating used to refute ‘Bognor belly’ report

Samples from wards in Bognor Regis see the Environment Agency ranked as 'good'
Samples from wards in Bognor Regis see the Environment Agency ranked as 'good'

‘Bognor belly: Bathers risk infection in British waters’ was a headline by The Times last week.

It caused a stir locally with residents keen to state the play on words wasn’t welcome and highlight that Bognor’s water is something to be proud of, not concerned about.

Referring to the comments the report attracted, a spokesman for the town council said: “It would appear that the public realise that including the reference to Bognor in the headline is merely a play on words.”

This, they added, was confirmed with the fact the town was not mentioned in the article itself.

The spokesman said: “According to Wikipedia there are another 21 seaside resorts in the United Kingdom that begin with the letter ‘B’ that The Times could have referenced in their attempt at alliteration. Flattered as we are to have been the seaside resort that springs to mind, from the choice of 22 resorts beginning with the letter ‘B’, the data available from the Environment Agency belies the headline.”

The current water quality classification is ‘good’, based on samples taken from 2014 through to 2017 within the town’s wards.

Four locations of the 416 places in England from which water quality samples are taken fall below the classification of ‘good’, according to the spokesman, who suggested they ‘might have been better suited for The Times to reference’.

They added: “The town council are pleased that current Environment Agency data accurately promotes the good quality of the bathing water in Bognor Regis. This is further evidenced when acknowledging that Bognor Regis East was awarded the ‘Keep Britain Tidy – Seaside Award 2017’ for which the criteria includes water quality, environmental management and safety and services.”

Arun District Council said: “The bathing waters at Bognor Regis have met strict European quality standards for many years and continue to do so.”

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