Stonehaven beach was graded ‘poor’ as part of a Scottish-wide survey of the quality of its bathing water by an environmental group.
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) tested the waters in beaches all over the Scottish coast, and Stonehaven ranked among the worst when Sepa published their interim results.
The findings relate to data gathered between 2012 and 2015 during the bathing season (June 1 to September 15) and they expected”80% of Scotland’s bathing waters to pass under the new European water quality classification”.
That target was almost met, with 79.8% being labelled as at least ‘sufficient’, leaving Stonehaven beach in the bottom 20% in the country.
The area that was tested is bound by the outflow of the River Carron and the harbour area jetty to the south.
It was designated as bathing water in 1999, but has been monitored since the 1980s.
Sepa monitored the waters for ‘faecal indicators’.
Councillor for Stonehaven and Lower Deesidee, Raymond Christie, labelled the result as “very disappointing”.
“That’s not good at all,” he said. “We should have a very good beach.”
He noted that “five or six” years ago there was a plaque at the beach that read “This beach had passed as a suitable for bathing”. That plaque is no longer there.
Cllr Christie added: “There is no excuse for faecal matter being there and the authorities need to do something about it.
“It’s not fair on businesses along the beach.”