Bathing Water and Beaches

15th May 2018

In our region we are blessed to be surrounded by Devon & Cornwall’s 150 beaches and I am delighted that only in March, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs designated 9 further beaches on the south coast as bathing waters.

The recent additions bring the total number of designated bathing waters across England to 423. At these designated areas, the Environment Agency helps protect the health of swimmers, surfers and other visitors, by testing the water for levels of bacteria and publishing the results online.

In order to maintain the high standards of water safety, water at more than 400 designated spots around England will be tested by the Environment Agency to help protect the health of visitors. Their efforts have produced great results thus far with 92 per cent of bathing waters throughout England being ranked as “Excellent” and “Good.”

But it’s only with the help of members of the public that the Environment Agency can monitor and improve water quality and ensure not only that the minimum standards are met, but that there is ongoing maintenance of high water quality.

This week, the Environment Agency will begin promoting the start of bathing season and has enlisted my support to encourage members of the public, communities and partners to work with them to improve bathing waters.

To help keep our coastlines clean, the Environment Agency is encouraging beach-goers to ‘bin it 4 beaches’ to raise awareness of what each of us can do to make sure the water quality at our local beach is the best it can be.

Visitors can also use the Bathing Water Data Explorer to obtain information on designated bathing waters around the UK and their water quality ratings, including when and where there is likely to be a temporary reduction in water quality due to heavy rainfall, which can wash pollutants downstream.

Britain’s beaches are visited around 150 million times each year and it is thanks to the work of the Environment Agency, farmers, water companies, communities and environmental organisations that our beautiful beaches are kept clean and revisited time and again.