Paul Hickey

Paul Hickey

Deputy Director - Water Quality
The Environemnt Agency

The Environment Agency is responsible for implementation of several key aspects of the Revised Bathing Water Directive. The Directive is designed to protect water quality to minimized the risk to bathers’ health from bacteriological pollution at designated bathing waters. There are over 400 of these in England – with 20 samples taken at beach during the bathing season to enable them to be classified under the directive.

In addition to monitoring, The EA exercise their regulatory powers to drive improvements and direct investment. They influence partners and communities to take action. They have reduced pollution through sewage by directing water company investment programmes with £220million expected to be spent on bathing waters between 2010 – 2015 and a further £350 million planned between 2015 – 2020. They have also worked with Catchment Sensitive Farming and the farming community to tackle agricultural diffuse pollution.

The EA provides the public with information on water quality through their website – the Bathing Water Data Explorer, where you can; retrieve all the data they have on bathing waters; check daily pollution risk forecasts for 154 waters for which we make daily predictions of the risk of pollution from rainfall; find information about specific bathing waters in their profiles. We aim to protect bathers not only by working to provide the best water quality possible but also by informing them of what is happening at bathing waters, allowing them to make informed choices about where and when to swim. (NB; Bruce Newport spoke on Paul’s behalf)


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About the speaker

Paul has been the Deputy Director for Water Quality at the Environment Agency  since 2010. His role includes national leadership on water quality for the Environment Agency as well as having oversight of their water quality planning and regulatory approach to protect and improve the natural environment.

Before then he worked for Anglian Water as an Environmental Standards Manager and then, later, a Planning and Equivalence Manager.

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