Over the last 20 years we’ve made huge progress in making our beaches and bathing waters cleaner.
In 1988 only 18% of our bathing waters met minimum standards, in 2016 this was 100%.
Below is information on how we got there and how we’ll keep it that way…

Too cold? Not for us!

On Thursday 14 August, Jayne Foat LOVEmyBEACH Co-ordinator spent the day on Formby beach talking to people who visit and look after the beach. Throughout the day there were 61 adults, 42 children, 4 horses and 30 dogs all having a great time! As well as locals out for a morning stroll, visitors came from Liverpool and Manchester and as far away as Stafford and Swansea. But everyone agreed that Formby is a beautiful beach and it’s important we all do our bit to look after it.

Jayne chatted with many of the visitors about what it means that Formby is a designated bathing water – the water is tested for bacteria and work is done to get the sea as clean as possible for swimming and paddling. Not that these boys were put off! The sea looked pretty cold to us but they’re obviously made of stronger stuff.

Jane Smith from Wigan was at Formby with her husband and their dog and was pleased to hear the water quality is good:

“We’ve been coming here for many, many years. 30 years must be, long before there was a carpark. Then you just had to park next to the sandunes and trampled through. We think it is important that the quality of the water is good. Especially with children paddling or playing with the water. We’ve seen the guy take the samples and carrying his things down to the sea. We actually come very early and bring breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately fleeces on today we come prepared for everything, we’ve even got different seats, the car is full of stuff!”

If you’d like to be part of the campaign to help look after Southport, Ainsdale and Formby beaches, just contact Jayne on 0151 934 2965.

Boys swimming at Formby

Blackpool pontoon…

No, it’s not an oil rig. This strange structure which has appeared just 500m from Blackpool’s main beach is a temporary pontoon surveying the sea bed for further bathing water improvements over the next few years.

The pontoon is checking underwater ground conditions for two new outfall pipes – one here and one a bit further up the Promenade at Anchorsholme. The pipes will send treated sewage and storm water further out to sea than it is at the moment. At a kilometre away from the shore, currents and tides are less likely to bring water back towards the beach.

It’s the work of one of our partners, United Utilities for their continued £multi-million improvements to the Fylde coast’s sewer systems. We’re all working hard for Blackpool’s bathing water beaches.

But United Utilities isn’t working alone. There are other sources of pollution and you can help us to tackle it! Go to ‘What can I do?’ to find out more!

Countryfile wades in to bathing waters debate

BBC One’s Countryfile programme has been investigating bathing waters for their latest episode. They researched what the revised Bathing Water Directive means to the North West and what we’re doing to turn the tide for our beaches and seaside towns.

Presenter Tom Heap interviewed Environment Agency’s Dan Bond at Southport beach and learnt all about how the water testing is done, what we test for and how the standards are changing next year. They then visited the United Utilities’ impressive Preston tunnel works, climbing down into the vast dry well (not for the faint hearted!) to see how some of the major infrastructure projects are helping improve bathing water quality. They also filmed kayaking off the coast of Blackpool.

The programme went out this Sunday and you can watch it for the next week on the iPlayer.

Let us know what you thought of the programme by tweeting us @LOVEmyBEACH_NW