THE Blue Flag will not fly in Whitmore Bay, Barry Island after an abnormal seawater sample was recorded on one day in September.

On September 12, 2018 a sample was collected showing 500 intestinal enterococci colonies per 100ml and 480 escherichia coli colonies per 100ml.

The previous sample, taken on August 29, had recorded 18 intestinal enterococci colonies per 100ml and less than 10 escherichia coli colonies per 100ml.

None of the other samples had shown abnormal readings, but the final sample result means the Blue Flag can’t be flown during the 2019 season.

The Blue Flag is an internationally recognised eco label, awarded to beaches and marinas for cleanliness, high quality amenities and safety.

A resort must fulfil 32 criteria to acquire or maintain a Blue Flag.

A beach needs to be clean and feature good all-round management.

Facilities such as toilets, drinking water, and lifeguards or lifesaving and first aid equipment must be in place.

Public information and education is important, for display, and this can include maps, natural history information and up-to-date details of local water quality.

Each local authority is required to apply, in writing, each season and each applicant must collect and analyse seawater samples on a regular basis and pass numerous other tests.

Keep Wales Tidy organises the process in Wales.

Vale council director of environment and housing services, Miles Punter said: “We are extremely disappointed to lose the Blue Flag at Whitmore Bay, which is due to one anomalous water sampling result at odds with all other readings taken over a sustained period of time.

“Regrettably, of all the criteria for the Blue Flag accreditation, water quality is the one aspect that the Vale of Glamorgan Council has no influence over.

“We have been advised that there are a number of possible reasons for this reading, including an increase in animal presence on the day of sampling, and we are working with our partner agencies to investigate the cause.

“It is also important to stress that even at the time this sample was taken, water quality at Whitmore Bay perfectly safe to bathe in and that remains the case.

“We have retained our Blue Flag at Penarth Marina and are confident Whitmore Bay will have its restored next year once new testing has been carried out.”

Barry Island Traders spokesman and café owner, Marco Zeraschi said it was a “lottery” when a sample gets collected as calm water provides better samples, but rough sea drags up silt affecting the sample quality.

“It’s a shame, but the cod are still out in the sea - so it shows we’ve got good water,” he said.

“We’ve still got a beautiful clean beach and resort.”

Detailed data about water quality at Whitmore Bay can be found via