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UK holding its own for bathing water quality against tougher European standards

The latest results from the European Environment Agency show that the UK is holding its own for bathing waters that comply with the EU standards.

The water industry has invested billions of pounds since the 1990s on measures that protect our unique and beautiful bathing waters.

Twenty years ago there were serious issues that needed addressing with big water treatment projects. Most of those have now been completed and are up and working; now it’s the small but numerous issues that need tackling and that can make all the difference to coastal water quality.

Water company staff live and work in the communities they serve. They are very aware of how important clean bathing water is to domestic customers, local businesses and the tourist trade. Water companies are just one of many agencies with a responsibility to protect bathing waters. Pollution can come from so many various sources that to make a difference, cooperation between local councils, businesses, farmers and communities is essential.

Causes of pollution include: where heavy rain washes pollutants into the sea from roads and pavements; pesticides from farmland; and slurry from farm animals.

Our own homes can also be a cause of pollution. Misconnected drains – which is where toilets and other household foul drains have been mistakenly connected to the surface water system – are a big issue and cause untreated waste to flow out to rivers and the sea as if it was rain water.

Sarah Mukherjee – Director of Environment
0207 344 1852

National campaign to tackle plumbing misconnections