A POPULAR local beach has lost its long-held status as one of the cleanest in Scotland after water quality checks did not meet guidelines.
Aberdour Silver Sands has lost its international Blue Flag status because recent water samples taken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) failed to meet an imperative award criteria level.
The beach had been awarded Blue Flag status for 15 consecutive years, but this time round the samples did not meet guideline standards.
Aberdour Silver Sands is, however, still firmly on track to meet the mandatory standard of the EU Bathing Water Directive - so it can continue to fly the Scottish Seaside Award flag, which it has had for 19 years.
Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, which administers the Blue Flag in Scotland, said: “The beach passed 32 strict criteria this year to obtain the Blue Flag but unfortunately this only recognises beaches across the world with the top water quality.
“While we are all bitterly disappointed that the Blue Flag has had to be withdrawn, we are pleased that Aberdour Silver Sands will continue to be actively managed and that Seaside Award standards will be maintained – allowing visitors to access up to date information about the water quality.
“We would urge people to keep visiting the beach, and to check the most recent water quality results online at www.sepa.org.uk.”
Keep Scotland Beautiful will be working closely with SEPA and Fife Council to make sure that the causes of the water quality breaches are identified.
Councillor David Ross, executive spokesman for housing, communities and local services said: “Fife Council is determined to do everything possible to maintain the quality of all our beaches.
“We hope that the fall in water quality will only be a temporary problem caused by the heavy rainfall over the summer and hope to receive a Blue Flag in the very near future.”