SENSORS could be put on Boscombe Pier to measure the water quality as BCP Council’s lead member for environment casts doubt on the current sewage alerts.

At a meeting of BCP Council’s full council on Tuesday, a question was asked by a member of the public, Daniel Parkin, calling for the council to put warning flags on the beaches when the alerts are issued.

In response to the question, Cllr Mark Anderson, portfolio holder for environment said: “I have concerns regarding the way the environment agencies predicted water quality alerts are treated and as such I am doing something about it.

Read more: Pollution risk warning issued for Boscombe Pier

“Boscombe beach was red-flagged by the RNLI on many occasions this summer as they respond to these pollution risk forecasts produced by the Environment Agency.

“These forecasts are based on many factors such as forecasted rain, tide and wind conditions.

“The council have for the last two years being running a water quality trial in Poole Harbour and Poole lagoon and I believe this technique should now be used in a real-world solution.

“I am aiming to put sensors on Boscombe pier along with measuring equipment next year and using the council’s smart place infrastructure will provide real time water quality measurements.

“We hope that the project will cover more parameters than the EA basic bacteria count, which is a crude measure of quality.

Read more: Council putting foot down with sewage pumping off Boscombe Pier

“It will, more importantly, by providing real time water quality measurements, ensure that red flags for water quality will be based on facts rather than predictions.”

Rejecting the question which mentioned “continuous dumping of sewage into our sea at Boscombe”, he added: “Firstly, people confuse storm overflows with surface water outfalls.

“Surface water outfalls collect the rainwater that falls onto roofs and roads, flows into road drains and gullies. This rainwater as well as any other water that enters the drains and gullies then flows through these underground pipes and into the nearest river or the sea. They are not connected to the sewage network. There is one on the west side of Boscombe pier.”

He said the storm overflow at Boscombe Pier operated three times in this bathing season for a total of 1 hour 22 minutes during heavy storms.

And he said there was only one sample from the 2022 data which didn’t achieve excellent status, which was on September 8.