Bathing season kicks off today (Monday, May 15) with regular water quality testing from the Environment Agency currently underway at designated bathing locations.
High standards of water quality at swimming sites are important for people to enjoy beaches and other attractions in the UK. Throughout the season, which runs from May 15 to the end of September, the Environment Agency will regularly monitor water quality in bathing waters across the country to provide bathers with the updates they need. .
Monitoring also means that the Environment Agency can assess whether further action is needed to address water quality at these sites. Deterioration of water quality can occur due to factors such as rainfall, wind, and high tides.
Information on all 424 designated bathing water locations and any forecasted water quality deterioration will be published on Swimfo: Find the Bath Water website. This provides instant access to information on every source of bathing water in the UK, including coastal sites, inland lakes and newly designated areas at Sykes Lane Beach and Whitwell Creek in Rutland Water, Firestone Bay in Plymouth and Deben Estuary in Waldringfield.
The Environment Agency works with local authorities to ensure signs are posted at these swimming sites to notify bathers of any possible drop in water quality due to rain. , wind and high tide.
The Environment Agency has driven a £2.5 billion investment and facilitated partnerships to dramatically improve our bathing water. Last year, 97.1% of bathing water met the minimum standard of Adequate, with 92.8% reaching the highest standards of Good and Excellent – the highest level since new, stricter standards were introduced. in 2015. The Environment Agency has made great strides continuing to work at speed to ensure more people can enjoy cleaner, healthier water.
Environment Agency President Alan Lovell said:
Britain’s much-loved beaches are an essential part of great British summer and many businesses and communities rely on their good health for tourism and commerce.
Our Environment Agency officers are out throughout the summer to monitor the quality of local bathing water and we can take action if minimum standards are not met. Anyone who wants to go swimming can check their results for free on the Swimfo website.
“Bathwater locations have shown tremendous improvements in recent decades after considerable investment and hard work. Much remains to be done to ensure cleaner and healthier water for everyone. This will require a combined effort from water utilities, farmers, regulators, councils, local businesses and the general public.”
In the fall, Defra will publish its ratings – Sufficient, Good, Excellent or Poor – for each designated bathing water site.
To reduce the risk from water bathing, Public Health England and the Environment Agency also offer advice in their ‘healthy swimming’ guidelines, which are available to read before making any decisions. about swimming.