Environmental protection legislation and public expectation require increasingly higher quality standards for coastal recreational waters. The immediate objective is compliance with EC Directives and UK legislation but consideration has also to be given to the possibility of higher future standards. The paper describes the environmental and engineering investigations for a major improvement scheme in an area of high amenity value where tourism is a principal source of employment. Schemes must be based on comprehensive survey data and a thorough evaluation to satisfy the requirements of the National Rivers Authority which is the regulatory body for discharges to the aquatic environment. A wide range of improvement options has been considered and the reasons for selecting the preferred options are explained. The significance of disinfection techniques and marine treatment are discussed. Over recent years a considerable interest has developed in environmental issues and consultation with customers, elected representatives and organisations has been important throughout the development of this scheme.

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