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Foam in St Aubin Bay is safe

01 August 2014

A spokesman for the Department of the Environment has said that the foam recently seen in St Aubin’s Bay was almost certainly a natural occurrence.

It has also been confirmed that there has been no further sighting of the foam and that the subsequent quality of the bathing waters has been of the highest standard.

The Director of Environmental Protection, Dr Tim du Feu, said “The foam was likely to have been caused by diatoms, a large component of phytoplankton. As these naturally die, they release a fatty material. This acts in a similar fashion to ‘washing up’ liquid and can cause foaming when the sea gets agitated. On this occasion, the foam coincided with the initial filling of the newly refurbished Victoria Marine Lake at First Tower. The cascading of water over the pool wall as it filled when the tide came up could have agitated the sea enough to produce the foam.

“Foam quickly disperses and the incidence has not reoccurred over the past two weeks. Natural foam is a frequent occurrence around the Island’s coastline and can often be seen as the tide comes up over hot sand. It is organic and entirely safe.”

The Environmental Protection team, which investigates pollution incidents, also looked at the waste water treatment works at Bellozanne and the streams running into the Bay but nothing out the ordinary was evident. The construction work on the pool was completed prior to the foam being seen and this was also ruled out as being the cause.

Environmental Protection monitors the quality of bathing water each week around Jersey. The two monitoring points in St Aubin’s Bay, at La Haule and at the newly refurbished Victoria Marine Lake, have both passed the stringent EU Guide standard for the past two weeks, indicating the highest quality for bathing.

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