Nearly 98% of bathing waters pass EA quality standards
The Environment Agency has announced that 97.9 per cent of England's bathing waters passed standards following tests this year.
- Smart thinking: The digital asset management revolution
- Comment: Can innovation help the taps continue to run in the future?
- Opinion: Protecting our water assets against cyber threats
- Stantec appoints smart networks and leakage reduction expert
- New 2,300-property development near Edinburgh gets connected
Water quality testing at 420 bathing spots carried out from May to September showed only 2.1 per cent were below acceptable standards.
The results also show that 92.4 per cent of the beaches and inland lakes tested were give the top rating of ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good.’ Beaches at Whitby (Yorkshire), Sidmouth Jacobs Ladder (Devon) and Skegness (Lincolnshire) have all kept their Excellent rating for the fourth year in a row.
In the early 1990s, just 28 per cent of bathing waters would have met today’s standards but dramatic improvements have been made to water quality over the last two decades, in part due to Environment Agency regulation reducing pollution from water companies and industry, and the work of local councils and communities.
"This is great news for anyone who enjoys a trip to the seaside," Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said. "We want everyone to be confident in the quality of our bathing waters and that’s why the Environment Agency carry out regular tests to protect the health of visitors.
"Britain’s beaches are visited around 130 million times each year, generating over £7 billion for the economy. Working together we can all keep driving up standards to reduce pollution, ensuring everyone can continue to enjoy our iconic coastline."
Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, added: "Seaside tourism is worth over £7 billion to the economy and good water quality is essential for people to visit and enjoy our beautiful beaches.
"The Environment Agency’s hard work has helped 388 beaches achieve the top Excellent or Good ratings this year and at beach cleans throughout the summer I’ve seen the commitment of local communities and campaigners to reduce pollution and protect our environment.
"Everyone can take small steps to help us protect water quality as we continue work with water companies, councils and local communities to maintain high bathing water standards."
Throughout the bathing water season from May to September, staff from the Environment Agency take up to 20 samples at each designated bathing spot. These are tested in Environment Agency laboratories and the results are published online.
This year, more people than ever visited the EA’s bathing water website, the Bathing Water Data Explorer, which includes a searchable map allowing users to check the water quality at beaches and bathing waters before making a visit.
The website, featuring the latest test results available, was visited 109,400 times – more than double the amount from 2017.
- Collaborative project protects Hastings bathing water Bathing water quality in Hastings has been protected thanks to a collaborative project. Read More >
- UU and Severn Trent plan updated business plan submissions to Ofwat United Utilities (UU) and Severn Trent Water have confirmed to Ofwat that they will have updated business plans covering... Read More >
- Skanska announces management changes to 'sustain its momentum' Skanska UK has announced several new executive and senior management changes in order to maintain the solid business... Read More >
- Data Protection and Brexit - Is your organisation prepared? Guidance to help businesses and charities continue to comply with data protection law after the UK leaves the EU Read More >
- Ofwat's assessments keep water companies in check The regulator's initial assessment of water companies' business plans reveals that a tight financial settlement is on the... Read More >
- Opinion: How will the UK protect the environment after Brexit? The Draft Environment (Principles & Governance) Bill leaves several unanswered questions about the enforcement of the... Read More >
- Ofwat's PR19 assessments: How the industry reacted After Ofwat published its initial assessments of water companies' business plans for 2020-25, we look at the responses... Read More >
- Preparing for better phosphorus removal in AMP7 In order to meet the more stringent phosphorus removal requirements expected in 2020- 25, wastewater utilities will need to... Read More >