Measuring approximately 800 metres in length, this beach is sandy with a pebble bank above the high tide mark. It faces south east into the Bristol Channel, towards Caldey Island. The catchment behind the bathing water is largely agricultural with the Lydstep Holiday Resort in the immediate foreground. The village of Lydstep is located 500 metres north west of the beach. Lydstep is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, confirming the high conservation status of the area. The bathing water also lies within Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The water quality sample point lies at the centre of the beach.
Natural Resources Wales works with Pembrokeshire County Council and the Bourne Leisure Group to identify any sources of pollution. Inspections are carried out by Natural Resources Wales in partnership with the local authority and the water company. These are carried out pre-season (before the 15th of May) and mid-season, if required (during the bathing water season).
A project known as Event Duration Monitoring (EDM) is underway to install telemetry on Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) within 2km of a bathing water by 2020 so that Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) know when the CSOs are operating and can work to reduce spills. One CSO near Lydstep is included in the project.
Natural Resources Wales has developed a good working relationship with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and liaises regularly to identify problems that could affect bathing water quality. There are no water company assets at Lydstep Haven.
Wrongly connected waste water pipes can affect the water quality of rivers and the sea. Any suspect misconnections will be passed to Pembrokeshire County Council for investigation.
Modern sewerage systems have two separate systems, one takes foul sewage to sewage treatment, the other takes rainwater runoff through surface water drains to rivers, lakes and the sea. Misconnections occur when waste water pipes are plumbed into surface water drains instead of the foul water sewerage system. This can give rise to pollution when the waste water is discharged directly to the environment through the surface water drain. For example, a washing machine or toilet may be incorrectly plumbed so that it discharges to the surface drain rather than the foul sewage drain.
Phytoplankton (microscopic algae) naturally increase in number at certain times of the year. This process is known as a phytoplankton bloom. These algal blooms can occur at any beach during the bathing season and are usually noticeable by a surface scum. This beach does not have a history of such blooms.
There are no sewage treatment works which discharge in the vicinity of this bathing water. Effluent from Lydstep is pumped to Tenby Wastewater Treatment Works at Gumfreston, where it is biologically treated and disinfected with ultra-violet light, to protect the bathing water quality at Tenby and nearby beaches.
Natural Resources Wales samplers make visual observations of the beach at every visit. This includes assessments of sewage debris, animal faeces, litter and oil or tar. At Lydstep, data are available for the four year assessment period from 2019-2022. Sewage debris was not observed at this bathing water. Animal faeces was not noted at this site. Trace amounts of litter were observed at the bathing water on less than ten per cent of occasions. Oil and tarry residues were not noted at this site.
Natural Resources Wales works closely with the Bourne Leisure Group to ensure a high level of water quality at Lydstep beach.
Poorly maintained private sewage treatment facilities could be a source of pollution, therefore the registration of all qualifying private sewage systems in Wales was required by 30 June 2012. The primary aim of this exercise is to provide increased protection for the environment and sensitive features such as bathing water beaches. Where discharges from properties are identified in the catchment that are not on mains sewerage, Natural Resources Wales will endeavour to ensure registration has been made, unless already a permitted discharge.
Natural Resources Wales places a high value on public participation in helping to trace sources of environmental pollution. Natural Resources Wales welcomes any comments or information from the pubic with regards to environmental pollution.
The natural drainage (hydrological) catchment surrounding the bathing water is agricultural, with the Lydstep Haven Resort along the shoreline. The village of Lydstep is located 500 metres north west of the beach.
Seaweed (macroalgae) and phytoplankton (microscopic algae) are a natural part of the marine and freshwater environment. Below we note whether these have been recorded in quantities sufficient to be a nuisance.
The majority of sewers in Wales are “combined sewers” and carry both sewage and surface water from roofs and drains. A storm overflow operates during heavy rainfall when the sewerage system becomes overwhelmed by the amount of surface water. The overflow prevents sewage from backing up pipes and flooding properties and gardens. An emergency overflow will only operate infrequently, for example due to pump failure or blockage in the sewerage system.
Heavy rain falling on pavements and roads often flows into surface water drains or highway drains, ending up in local rivers and, ultimately, the sea. The quality of bathing water may be adversely affected as a result of such events.
It is Natural Resources Wales' role to drive improvement of water quality at bathing waters that are at risk of failing European standards. It is natural for water to run off the land to the sea. Water quality at a bathing water is dependent upon the type and area of land (the catchment) draining to the water and the activities undertaken in that catchment. The following sections serve to highlight potential sources of pollution, conditions under which they may arise and measures being put in place to improve water quality.