The full extent of the law must be used to prosecute anybody found polluting the water at a popular Fife beach, a community leader has said.
Carol Rhodes, from the Kinghorn Harbour Residents’ and Environmental Group, has backed the work of multiple agencies which are attempting to locate the source of contamination in the Firth of Forth.
Earlier this month the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT) said that it would be committed to helping SEPA and other organisations in assessing water quality at the popular bathing spot.
A recent water quality survey graded the harbour area as “poor”, indicating pollutants are entering the sea where hundreds of visitors bathe in the summer months.
This is despite the water quality at the adjoining Pettycur Bay being classified as “good”, suggesting the source of any pollution must be local.
Mrs Rhodes, who helps to organise volunteer cleaning operations at the sands on a regular basis, said that the law should be utilised to protect the environment if a guilty party can be identified.
“They need to identify what the source of the problem is,” she said.
“If somebody is tipping something in to the water supply then whatever laws can be used should be used.
“We want people to feel safe when they come to the beach.”
Visitors flock to the beaches of Kinghorn every summer to cool off in the waters of the Forth.
Formerly a blue flag beach, the stiffening of regulations means that Kinghorn Harbour no longer holds the sought after accolade.
However, SEPA has said that should not deter people from visiting the beach, with the agency’s environment quality manager, Calum McPhail, saying that heavy rainfall could impact results in some instances.
Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, is attempting to arrange a meeting for interested parties to discuss the matter.
Backing the move, Mrs Rhodes said: “Obviously we want people to be safe if they go into the water here.
“We have a rowing team, sailing club and fishermen who all use it regularly.
“Paddling in it will not do anybody any harm (but) this needs addressing.”