15 June 2023
The Infrastructure and Environment department is currently, as a precaution, advising Islanders not
to swim in St Aubin’s Bay.
Environmental and biological issues mean the discharge into the sea from the Sewage Treatment
Works (STW) at Bellozanne is, temporarily, not at its usual standard.
Warm weather, little rainfall, a lower-than-normal load arriving at the STW and biological factors
are all thought to have contributed to the reduced effluent quality.
Signs have gone up in St Aubin’s Bay this morning advising Islanders not to swim in the area.
Infrastructure and Environment Chief Officer, Andy Scate, said: “We believe it’s a series of factors,
all happening at the same time, that have contributed to the discharge not being at the standard
we’d like. Higher-than-normal ammonia levels are entering the Sewage Treatment Works, and
there are low flows through the facility because of reduced surface water. Along with this, an overeffective initial stage means there’s a reduced concentration of organic matter that the bacteria
require to function properly in the plant. This causes a reduced biological activity which affects the
quality of the final discharge.”
Minister for the Environment, Deputy Jonathan Renouf, said: “We’ve adopted a precautionary
approach and are awaiting the results of seawater tests which will tell us more about whether
bacteria levels are up across the Bay. Further testing is going on today. We aren’t necessarily
declaring that it’s dangerous to swim in the area, but we also cannot guarantee that there’s not an
increased risk to swimming there. Until we can give that assurance, we ask that you please don’t
swim in St Aubin’s Bay.”
Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Tom Binet, said: “I’m keen to reassure Islanders that this is far
from being raw sewage going out into the sea. It has been through the system and treated, but the
output isn’t at the levels we’d want to see. Officers at the STW are working on a number of
potential solutions, and are speaking frequently with the Environmental and Consumer Protection
team in the Regulation Directorate.”
Anyone who has been swimming in the area and starts to feel unwell or has health concerns should
speak to their doctor (GP). The Environmental and Consumer Protection switchboard is also open
for public health advice each weekday on 01534 445 808.
The Assistant Minister with responsibility for Sport, Deputy Lucy Stephenson, added: “We’re
aware the Jersey Triathlon is due to be held in St Aubin’s Bay this weekend and have been in touch
with the organisers. We’ll be keeping in regular contact with them as we get more test results
through and learn more about the situation.”