In July 2021 the BBC published an article about bathing water quality on the Solway coast. You can view the article by clicking here. It identifies some local beaches, at Dhoon Bay and Brighouse Bay, as being in the poorest classification for bathing safety, based on a series of measurements taken over the last four years. The bathing water quality is rated by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and there are electronic displays at the Dhoon and Brighouse Bay to indicate the latest conditions. The conditions vary with the weather and it is normally safe to bathe in dry conditions. Bathing should however be avoided for one or two days after heavy rains that can wash pollutants into the sea.
SEPA have been working with farmers and landowners along the Solway coast for over 10 years to prevent pollution from agricultural sources and pollution prevention measures and guidelines have been put in place as described in the article. Another source of pollution is from domestic septic systems and SEPA recommend that septic tanks are emptied regularly, especially at the start of the summer bathing season.
The beach at Dhoon Bay was highlighted as a particular problem because it has been rated as 'poor' for several years in succession and is in danger of being removed from the list of Scottish bathing beaches. During 2021, SEPA have been working with residents at Millhall and around Dhoon Bay to look at the possibility of upgrading their septic tank systems with some financial assistance from the Scottish Government.