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Bathing water quality

Beaches along the 560km coastline we serve are of exceptional quality and among the best in Europe.

There are a wide range of factors that affect the cleanliness of beaches and bathing waters, including agricultural and urban run-off.

We carefully manage wastewater and stormwater discharges from our coastal sewerage network and sewage treatment works to help protect bathing water quality and ensure high standards are maintained. Find out more about our CSOs

During the 2012 bathing season, 44 of our 47 designated bathing waters within our region achieved the ‘mandatory’ standard for water quality.

Compliance with the tighter ‘guideline’ standard was 77%.

Coastwatch

During the 2011 and 2012 bathing seasons we successfully ran a web-based overflow notification system. This provided near real time information of when overflows operated at designated bathing waters.

This system has been reviewed and improved over the last two years with input from local councils, Surfers Against Sewage and the Environment Agency. We have made the following changes for summer 2013:

  • we are reporting on 41 overflows, compared with 40 in 2012
  • the number of bathing waters judged to be affected by overflows has increased from 26 to 27
  • the other bathing waters in our region are not affected by sewer overflows and these are clearly identified on our web pages
  • the website is more interactive and user friendly.

Check out Coastwatch, our real time system to notify when overflows, which may impact bathing water quality are operating. 

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