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In Haute-Vienne, the municipalities carefully maintain their bathing sites

Swimming. A moment that we particularly appreciate at the approach of the hot weather. When the thermometer climbs, the Haut-Viennois have several bodies of water or ponds in which bathers can take it easy.

But this privileged moment has a price. Town halls must carry out monitoring throughout the year to offer holidaymakers safety and comfort.

Increased monitoring

So that the bathing season begins in the rules of the art, the commune of Châteauneuf-la-Forêt shares the tasks with the services of the State, a specialized firm and the fishing federation.

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Mandatory analyzes. For its part, the firm in charge of monitoring carries out an in-depth technical visit every three years. A specialized commission from the regional health agency (ARS) analyzes the quality of the water before the opening. A compulsory operation in the bathing places of each municipality.

“We also carry out counter-analyses with the help of the county council”, adds Nicolas Lenfant, town hall secretary in Meuzac. The body of water being located in the heart of the village and representing a place of regular passage, the latter emphasizes that “visual inspection is done daily”.

Additional analyzes to those of the ARS are also carried out in Saint-Hilaire-les-Places. “In Haute-Vienne, the ARS is very vigilant and has a very strict water control protocol. However, it happened to us to obtain significant differences between the samples, so to be sure we carry out counter-analyses. And since 2014, I have not experienced a single closure of the body of water, ”congratulates the mayor, Sylvie Vallade.

Oil changes. In order to ensure supervised swimming, open for a month at the Puy Chaumartin pond located in Château-Chervix, the town hall must, like other municipalities, carry out an emptying every three years. A management act essential to the good health of a pond which allows, by partially or totally lowering the water level, to recover the fish if there are any and to maintain the structures. Performed regularly, it contributes to the preservation of the quality of the ecosystem linked to the pond.

“A complete emptying is carried out every three years in December, January and February in order to allow the evacuation of the sediments”, affirms Sylvie Vallade.

“People only see the beautiful part and not all the technical follow-up”

Shoreline maintenance. “Throughout the year, we monitor the level of the lake because we must have a minimum threshold to ensure swimming,” explains the mayor of Châteauneuf-la-Forêt, Françoise Rivet. For this, the municipality monitors the dike bordering the lake.

The Meuzac lake is located in the heart of the town

“The state of the dike is also very controlled. In order to know the quantity of water resources, the technical agents measure the pressure of the liquid at the level of the building using a piezometer at least once a month. We also measure the drain flow rates, that is to say, the water flow rate per minute”, specifies Françoise Rivet. For the mayor, “people only see the beautiful part and not all the technical follow-up that such a place requires”.

If the bathing part is maintained, everything around is just as well. “We also have to take care of the facilities and facilities around the water. For example, children’s games which, too, must be controlled, ”explains the town hall.

Pollution. “This fall, we carried out an operation to uproot an invasive plant with the Limousin health organization, Fredon”, relates Céline Touny, town hall secretary in Saint-Germain-les-Belles. Recognized by the State, the regional federation for the defense against harmful organisms deploys monitoring, prevention and control actions against bioaggressors.

“We have an area of ​​35 hectares with a bathing area, a fishing area and a recreation area. The difficulty lies in finding the right balance between fishermen and swimmers. The plant allows better water filtration, but it must not cover the entire pond so as not to prevent the practice of fishing”, assures the mayor, Sylvie Vallade. Since 2016, she has installed an ultrasound device to eliminate cyanobacteria

from April to September.

Once all these operations are done, it’s time for the big dive.

The Blue Flag is increasing in Limousin

In order to reward all the work done, some sites obtain a quality label. Blue Flag recognition is intended for swimmers looking for very high quality water. According to Teragir, the sustainable development education association that has been developing the label since 1985, the criteria have evolved over the years.

This year, the Blue Flag has added to its list a guide criterion on “actions to monitor and measure the actions implemented in favor of biodiversity”. Eight Limousin beaches (compared to six in 2021) have been rewarded for their commitment to sustainable tourism. Six bodies of water are rewarded in Corrèze and two in Haute-Vienne.

For 3 years, the Blue Flag has devoted a significant part of its activity to strengthening its action in favor of biodiversity, with increased requirements in the labeling criteria.

Discover the beaches of Limousin classified Blue Flag this summer

In Saint-Hilaire-les-Places, the body of water has won the Blue Flag label for the fifth consecutive year. “We do not use pesticides, and we mow as late as possible,” explains the mayor, Sylvie Vallade.

Teragir, at the origin of Blue Flag, also focuses its label on times of awareness and training on the importance of knowledge of the natural environment and the implementation of concrete actions in favor of the preservation of biodiversity.

A practice carried out in Saint-Hilaire-les-Places assures Sylvie Vallade: “In the spring, we organize participatory mornings during which around thirty participants devote four hours of their time to maintaining the site. With the municipal council, we have also set up an interpretive trail this year. »

They can cause fever, throat and skin irritation.

Water, a common good

whose quality is to be preserved

The Department is confronted, like the users, with the thorny question of water resources. An essential issue according to Stéphane Delautrette, vice-president of the departmental council in charge of ecological transition and sustainable investments.

With rising temperatures and increasingly recurrent drought vigilance, particularly in Haute-Vienne, water has become a scarce commodity. “Today, we must maintain good resource availability while maintaining the functioning of natural environments,” says Stéphane Delautrette. For this reason, we are carrying out consultations with all the players in the territory. »

Haute-Vienne placed on drought vigilance since May 17, 2022

A global prospective study, both qualitative and quantitative, is currently being carried out by the departmental council and the players in the sector for the short and medium to long term. “We must treat water as a common good and a global and transversal subject, that is to say by linking its small and its large cycle”, insists the person in charge of ecological transition.

“As far as swimming is concerned, we experienced the problem of cyanobacteria which polluted many lakes in the department. In order to make the analyzes more reliable, the departmental technical agency carries out and pays for additional analyzes at the request of local authorities in conjunction with the regional health agency (ARS). Since then, we have faced fewer and fewer closures, which sometimes depended on random results, ”he assures. The county council is also involved in the sanitation aspect: “If water treatment is carried out upstream, pollution can be prevented and avoided. “Stéphane Delautrette is also delighted with the nomination of a second lake labeled Blue Flag, the Hermeline space in Bussière-Galant, “the proof that our work and that of the municipalities pays off”. Limousin has a total of fifty supervised bathing sitesof which lifeguard swimmers are the main guardians. In Haute-Vienne , 23 natural bodies of water with a beach and a supervised bathing area are distributed throughout the department. The Correze count 6 bodies of water of the department and the Dig


fifteen supervised beaches.

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