Figures released from Defra show that this year, 605 out 610 bathing sites met the mandatory standards set by the European Commission. The water industry plays a key role in keeping beaches free from pollution by ensuring that water returned to the environment is as clean as possible.
In their business plans for 2015-2020, water and sewerage companies are committed to investing billions each year in assets and services to maintain and enhance the overall sewerage network.
The industry, and the UK overall, faces a mounting challenge related to the impacts of climate change. We are already seeing extreme periods of wet weather, for example the storms in the winters of 2012 and 2013. These put the sewer system under huge pressure, leading to more discharges into the sea, which in turn can affect the quality of bathing waters.
From 2015, bathing water quality will be assessed using new, stricter standards. The water industry will continue to play its part in helping to ensure that our beaches are kept clean, working with the Government and other agencies and stakeholders to help the UK meet the tougher standards.
The industry also works under the ConnectRight partnership of organisations acting to reduce water pollution from drains and sewers caused by misconnections of domestic plumbing.
Annual update on bathing water quality across the UK
Defra report on coastal (and inland) bathing waters
Supporting the great British holiday with cleaner seas
Water UK press release 6 November 2014
UK bathing waters amongst the best
Water UK press release 4 June 2014
Water UK communication
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