'CSI Seaside' project at Seaton

PUBLISHED: 13:35 10 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:09 16 June 2010

NEW techniques have been developed to prevent the pollution of bathing water in Seaton.

NEW techniques have been developed to prevent the pollution of bathing water in Seaton.

The 'CSI Seaside' project, created by the Environment Agency, has been introduced at the resort and other seaside towns across the South West.

The most common causes of bathing water pollution are agricultural fertilisers, animal faeces or human sewage.

The technique, which uses a process known as Microbial Source Tracking (MST), works by isolating the DNA of faecal matter found in bathing water and determining whether it is human or animal in origin.

Doug Wilson, head of monitoring and modelling at the Environment Agency said: "Bathing water quality has improved dramatically over the last 20 years and almost every beach now meets quality standards. But we want to do more.

"By using forensic techniques, we can help pinpoint the exact causes of pollution and tackle them, helping us to make sure that water will continue to improve in future years for our bathers."

Eventually this technique will be able to identify the sources of pollution, allowing Environmental Officers to stop it entering our bathing water.


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