English beaches reach high water mark in cleanliness tests

| 14th November 2017
Holidaymakers at iconic seaside locations like Dawlish in Devon should be met with clean beaches. Via Max Pixel.
Holidaymakers at iconic seaside locations like Dawlish in Devon should be met with clean beaches. Via Max Pixel.
Holidaymakers and swimmers who visit the English coastline can enjoy exceptionally clean sand and sea, reports BRENDAN MONTAGUE.
Maintaining such high water quality standards at English beaches is a huge success.


English beaches have passed water quality tests again this year - with 98.3 percent making the grade. More than 400 beaches and lakes have reached the water quality standards and 92 percent were awarded the 'good' or 'excellent' rating.


This success builds on the dramatic improvements made to water quality in the last two decades and almost equals the best year on record despite the wetter summer. It's been another good year for Cornwall with all bathing waters meeting the standards.


In Teignbridge, Devon, all bathing waters have met the excellent standard. This is a fantastic result and reflects all the work that has been carried out by partners and the Love your beach group.


Iconic seaside 


The results announced today will be proudly displayed at beaches and shared online for prospective visitors to check. Holidaymakers and swimmers who visit the English coastline continue to benefit from the efforts of water companies to protect bathing waters and from the joint work by councils, regulators, farmers and campaign groups to make further improvements.


The results have been heralded as a huge success despite the summer rain. Rainwater that runs off through urban areas and agricultural land into the sea can result in a temporary dip in water quality. This means water quality will fluctuate slightly each year depending on the weather.


Everyone has a part to play in protecting iconic seaside resorts by taking simple actions to keep beaches clean.


Huge success


Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: "Maintaining such high water quality standards at English beaches is a huge success and a credit to all those individuals and organisations working hard to keep our bathing waters clean. 


"Water quality has improved significantly over the last two decades - but to protect and enhance water quality even further we will need everyone to take the small actions that will help."


Visitors to beaches and local communities are urged to clear up and not leave mess on the beach. Every business and household can ensure they don't contribute to pollution on beaches by not pouring fats down drains and not flushing wet wipes.


Cleanest class


In 2017 the public were also able to see more information online about water quality at any bathing beach.


Cllr Phil Bullivant, Teignbridge District Council's executive member for recreation and leisure, said: "The beach is a great place to be at any time of the year and I am delighted to see that Teignbridge's bathing waters have been awarded these results for the 2017 season.


"Teignmouth in particular has benefited from significant investment resulting in massive improvements to bathing waters and this is something we are really proud of. Back in 2014 it was at risk of being classed as poor and now it's been awarded Excellent, the highest, cleanest class so this is really fantastic news.


"Bathing water standards need constant attention so there's always more work to be done. We'll keep working to improve our environment and make sure people who live and visit can enjoy keep enjoying them."


This Author


Brendan Montague is Editor of The Ecologist website. 




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