Achieving compliance with the mandatory standards of the 1976 Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC) is required at all UK identified bathing waters. In recent years, the Fylde coast has been an area of significant investments in ‘point source’ control, which have not proven, in isolation, to satisfactorily achieve compliance with the mandatory, let alone the guide, levels of water quality in the Directive. The potential impact of riverine sources of pollution was first confirmed after a study in 1997. The completion of sewerage system enhancements offered the potential for the study of faecal indicator delivery from upstream sources comprising both point sources and diffuse agricultural sources. A research project to define these elements commenced in 2001. Initially, a desk study reported here, estimated the principal infrastructure contributions within the Ribble catchment. A second phase of this investigation has involved acquisition of empirical water quality and hydrological data from the catchment during the 2002 bathing season. These data have been used further to calibrate the ‘budgets’ and ‘delivery’ modelling and these data are still being analysed. This paper reports the initial desk study approach to faecal indicator budget estimation using available data from the sewerage infrastructure and catchment sources of faecal indicators.

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