Cutting edge environmental technology has just been field tested successfully on the Isle of Wight for the first time in the World.

The Environment Agency has used a new ‘micro pump water quality monitor’ in Shanklin Chine to monitor for sources of pollution entering Shanklin Beach. The monitor has been in the chine for 6 weeks, continuously sending live high resolution data back to the Environment Agency. It collects data on all the indicators of pollution in the stream to give us a better idea of what pollution levels are, and where they could be coming from. And the piece of kit is completely solar powered.

In 2016 Shanklin Beach was classed as having ‘good’ bathing water quality which was an improvement on the previous year’s result. It was the lower 2015 result that led the Environment Agency to investigate Shanklin to try and work out what could have caused the decline.

Sam Orchard, environmental monitoring officer for the Environment Agency said: “If bathing waters are classified as ‘poor’, beach signage has to be displayed advising against bathing, which we all want to avoid.

“There are some simple steps everyone can take to protect our beautiful swimming beaches like Shanklin; for instance, make sure your drains at home are connected properly, and only flush pee, paper and poo down the loo!

“We have been working in partnership with Southern Water on the #BeautyOfTheBeach campaign to celebrate our coastline and share other ideas on what people can do to keep their beaches beautiful”.

This was illustrated by Isle of Wight children in the ‘love letter to my beach’ competition for Valentine’s Day earlier this year. Amber, aged 7, won the competition for Shanklin: “I love you because your sand is soft and warm on my feet. I love playing in your pools when the tide goes out. Your beach huts are pretty and you make me feel happy. I will care for you by always taking my litter home with me”.