Although Chichester Harbour is not a designated bathing water, we monitor water quality regularly and compare the results with standards from the Bathing Water Directive. You can find the latest results on the Chichester District Council website.
Discharges affecting water quality in the Harbour
Southern Water informs us of any discharges from their Waste Water Treatment Works. Details are then circulated to relevant sailing clubs and as avilable on the Chichester District Council website.
There are three Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) that discharge treated effluent into the Harbour - at Apuldram, Bosham and Thornham. The works were upgraded in April 2008 so all sewage now receives Ultra Violet and bacteriological treatment, and some of the nutrients are removed before the effluent is discharged.
Water quality monitoring has shown that all parts of the Harbour are consistently excellent (Guideline Standard) or good (Mandatory standard) when measured against the European Bathing Water Directive.
However, when there are heavy storm water or high groundwater conditions, the WWTW may not be able to cope with the volume of water entering the system. In these conditions, diluted sewage which has only received primary treatment (removal of unsightly solids) may be discharged into the Harbour.
Storm discharges at Apuldram are treated by Ultra Violet light so the impact of a storm discharge is reduced. However, good hygiene is advised, such as hand washing and covering open wounds.
Telemetry at the WWTW records actual storm water discharges - it is not an ‘early warning alert'. Nonetheless, the Conservancy has decided that Harbour users should be advised when storm water discharges have occurred and we inform the relevant sailing clubs.