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6. To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency classifying the sea water at Fisherrow in Musselburgh as poor in 2018-19, and the potential impact that this has on tourism, and the health of people bathing, in the area. (S5O-03460)
The Scottish Government recognises the importance of good quality bathing water for bathing and tourism. Any poor classification is unacceptable and must improve. Together with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Water, the Scottish Government is taking all possible steps to raise bathing water quality. That includes public sewer network improvements and fixing property misconnections.
The Scottish Government has provided £340,000 to fund a joint programme of intense sewer investigation at Fisherrow and Portobello to identify and fix sources of pollution from property misconnections. Scottish Water is also currently carrying out improvements to the sewer network.
The Scottish Government and SEPA provide support to East Lothian Council through the Edinburgh and Lothians bathing waters stakeholder partnership group, and the Government-funded Keep Scotland Beautiful my beach your beach initiative provides support to East Lothian Council to reduce the impact from litter, dogs and gulls on Fisherrow sands.