UK’s first real-time water quality testing for Hayling Seafront

A hi-tech water quality monitor that could provide real-time testing on the condition of bathing water off Hayling Island is set to be installed.

Havant Borough Council and Southern Water are partnering together to deliver this sophisticated scheme that is hoped will provide a blueprint for similar monitoring around the country.

The innovative pilot would be a UK first and give residents live updates on the water in one of the borough’s most popular swimming locations.

Cllr Alex Rennie, Leader of Havant Borough Council, said: “This is new, ground-breaking technology that will allow our residents and visitors to check the water quality at Hayling Island for themselves and swim with confidence.

“We have been listening to residents who have been telling us that they need better, more up-to-date information on water quality and this exciting new scheme is the result.

“This will be the first time this system is used in this country and could be the first of many such monitors along our shorelines in the future.”

The monitor will be fixed to a buoy around 400 metres offshore, west of Beachlands. It will automatically take regular water samples, then upload the results to a website where they can be checked online.

Once the calibration period is successfully completed, residents will then be able to check the website and see the condition of the water for themselves.

“The introduction of this buoy is a vital first step in ensuring regulators, wildlife groups and recreational water users can understand what is really happening in our coastal waters,” said Dr Nick Mills, Head of the Storm Overflow Task Force at Southern Water.

“We are incredibly pleased with the great partnership that the local government around Hayling has forged with Southern Water and we hope this is the shape of things to come.

“We know our Beachbuoy service is incredibly popular, giving near real time data on the timing of releases, and this new technology will build on this success and deliver what is really needed – hard data on what the condition of the water really is.

We hope that this pilot on Hayling will show the way forward for our entire region and what is possible when we work together.”