Defra has announced that 99% of England’s bathing waters met European water quality standards in 2013. Every week between May and September the Environment Agency tests levels of bacteria in samplestaken from bathing waters designated for swimming and paddling. We have 32 bathing waters in the North West with 88% complying with the standards in 2013. However, four of them failed meaning two of the 20 samples taken didn’t meet the minimum standards. A fail doesn’t mean the water quality is always poor.But it does mean there’s more we need to do to keep beaches and bathing waters clean, including investment in infrastructure, beach clean ups, tackling misconnected drains, education around litter and dog mess, working with farmers and partnership groups across the region.
In 2015 the standards become almost twice as strict. Please check your drains are connected right so that ‘dirty water’ from toilets and washing machines goes into the foul sewer and not surface drains. Visit www.connectright.org.uk for more information.You don’t have to live by the sea to make a difference!
Neil Jack, Chair of Turning Tides, said: “We know how people love to come to the seaside in the North West and we are proud that our hard work has led to more bathing waters complying with tough European standards. We’re committed to working together across the partnership and with volunteers, businesses, farmers and local communities to make sure our beaches continue to thrive.”
Please see What can I do? to find out how you can help and if you spot pollution, call the Environment Agency incident line on 0800 80 70 60.