We bring people together to create better policies for the future of water

England's bathing waters maintain high standards

Press release
Water environment
14 November 2017
Bournemouth beach

The Environment Agency has announced today that 98.3% of bathing waters in England met the tough standards for water quality in 2017.

Thanks to significant improvements made through high levels of investment, two-thirds of beaches are now rated as excellent, compared to less than a third twenty years ago.

These results are particularly impressive following a summer of significant rainfall, which can cause high levels of agricultural run-off to pollute our waters.

Commenting on the results, Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of Water UK, said:

“These are great results under difficult circumstances. It shows the benefit of all the hard work and investment water companies put into improving our rivers and beaches, and is in very stark contrast to the situation 30 years ago when beaches were often riddled with sewage.”

Water UK Communications
0207 344 1805

Defra press release

Full results