Warning to avoid swimming at Jersey's Greve De Lecq beach due to below 'poor' water quality

  • Katya Fowler looks at the situation at Greve De Lecq and the impact it is having on local businesses

Swimmers in Jersey are being urged not to bathe at Greve De Lecq after tests revealed high levels of E. coli bacteria in the water.

A sample taken near the bay was considerably worse than the European scale for "poor" water quality.

If ingested, E. coli can cause stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Anyone who has been swimming at the bay and feels unwell is advised to speak to their doctor.

Jersey's Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, explains: "What we're seeing are high levels of E. coli bacteria that normally cause quite a mild illness but it can get serious in rare cases."

Public Health signs have been put up around the area warning people not to swim and Jersey's Pollution Control Team is currently investigating the cause - results have so far proved inconclusive.

Sewage pumping stations are understood to be working as expected.

16 bays around the island are regularly monitored for water quality between May and September each year.

Greve de Lecq registered 3300 and 1800 cfu/100ml in two separate samples.

In comparison, the level of E. coli at two other popular swimming spots, Bonne Nuit and Watersplash, were below 10 cfu/100ml. The latest test results can be found here.

Business owners have warned that the recent detection of E. coli at Greve de Lecq has significantly impacted trade.

Shaun Carstairs, Head Chef at Colleens Cafe, said: "We've seen a massive drop in trade and so it's been quite dramatic for us.

"Even in January and February when it's very cold, we had the snow and things like that, just after that we were a lot busier than what we've seen now so it has had quite a big effect."

Sean Kinsella, Manager at Absolute Adventures, described the situation as a "nightmare", saying he has been forced to rearrange a 10-day coasteering course which was scheduled to take place at Greve de Lecq.

With the summer season just around the corner, he added: "If a place like Greve de Lecq is not available to operate from, there are going to be losses for a lot of companies."

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