Press release: England’s bathing waters hold high standards

Standards have remained high following last year’s record results which showed bathing waters were the cleanest since records began.

98.3 per cent of bathing waters tested at over 400 beaches and lakes up and down the country passed tough standards this year, following 98.5 per cent last year.

There have been huge strides made since the early 1990s, when just 28 per cent of bathing waters met the top water quality standards that were in force then; now 92 per cent are rated excellent or good.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

We want all bathing waters to enjoy the high quality which the 146 million visitors to Britain’s beaches every year expect and we will keep working with partners to drive up standards.

Not only does our iconic coastline generate over £3.6 billion for the economy, it is a valuable part of our natural environment and we will uphold these bathing water standards as part of our plans to deliver a Green Brexit.

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.

The Environment Agency continues to lead efforts to ensure bathing waters are maintained and improved further, working with partners and the public to reduce pollution.

Local action plans are in place for the waters that need improvement, involving a range of partner organisations. In 2017 the public were also able to see more advice on signs at beaches and get better information online about water quality at any bathing beach.

Notes to editors:

  • The Office of National Statistics have published the annual bathing water quality results here
  • Information about each bathing water is updated through the season on the bathing water explorer

Link: Press release: England’s bathing waters hold high standards
Source: Gov Press Releases