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Surfing at Bude in Cornwall

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England’s bathing waters best on record

Visitors to England’s seaside and bathing waters will be able to enjoy cleaner water than ever before, thanks to improvements made over the past two decades.

Bathing water quality, tested at 413 beaches and lakes across the country, is the best on record with 98.5% passing tough standards this year.

Water companies are acutely aware of how important clean bathing water is to customers, local businesses and the tourist trade, and the water industry has invested billions of pounds since the 1990s on measures that protect our unique and beautiful bathing waters.

This investment has helped to consistently improve bathing water quality, with 93.2% of bathing waters now rated excellent or good. This is a vast improvement from the early 1990s when around 28% of bathing waters met the top standards.

Sarah Mukherjee, Director of Environment at Water UK, said:

“Despite these positive results, water companies continue to invest heavily into the environment, and are looking to the future. The sector is working with a wide variety of groups to develop a programme of robust research to help deliver a sewerage and drainage system that’s affordable, resilient to climate change and that will serve the UK for generations to come.”

If you are interested in seeing more about how water companies are working in the environment, take a look at Discover Water, the industry’s information dashboard.

Water UK Communication
0207 344 1805

Defra press release

List of all bathing water classifications