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…

United Utilities improvements

United Utilities’ business plan for 2015 to 2020 includes a £3.8bn package of improvements for the region’s water and sewerage infrastructure, which is good news for North West beaches.

Steve Mogford, Chief Executive Officer, said “We’re building on nearly 25 years of investment since privatisation which has delivered real improvements in tap water quality and the environment. Our focus is shifting over the next five years more on wastewater improvements which, through the work with our partners, is good news for bathing waters and North West tourism.”

You can read the full story on the United Utilities website.

We still need your help to improve bathing waters – please visit the ‘What can I do?’ section to find out how you can help!

Sefton survey results

Sefton has three bathing water beaches where people swim and paddle – Formby Lifeboat Road, Ainsdale and Southport. In June, 381 people responded to our survey about beaches and bathing waters in Sefton. The main reasons people gave for visiting a beach are walking, enjoying the scenery, and peace and quiet. Whilst few visit to swim or paddle, 94% feel that a clean sea is important when deciding to visit the beach.

Only half of those surveyed said they were aware of the current water quality at Sefton’s beaches. In fact all of Sefton’s bathing waters passed the minimum European standards in 2013. Most were able to identify sources of pollution in our sea water such as sewer drainage and they generally know what they can do at home to tackle them, such as checking drains are connected correctly at www.connectright.org.uk and putting wet wipes in the bin not down the toilet. And they know when they go to the beach not to leave litter, to clean up after their dog or horse, and not to feed the birds.

9 in 10 people feel they have a ‘local’ beach but very few think they can impact water quality. You can! A whopping 103 people want to help our campaign. If you’d like to – check out ‘What can I do?’ and please help keep our beaches clean.

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Why I volunteer

So many people who live along Britain’s coasts rarely go down to their local beach. When we returned to St Annes, having lived and worked in the Manchester area for many years, I was determined that living “at the seaside” would mean that I regularly saw the sea!
Being a LOVEmyBEACH volunteer makes me appreciate how lucky I am to live on the Fylde coast. Helping to keep the beach clean, by picking up litter once a week, is a pleasure, not a chore. Our small friendly group meanders along the shore collecting any debris that has been left by visitors or by the tide. We always hope we might discover something exciting, though sadly the bulk of the litter consists of bottles, cans and sweet wrappers. But at the end of our morning’s work, we can clearly see the huge difference we’ve made, so it’s always very satisfying.

Janet Curran, St Annes North beach volunteer

If you’d like to become a LOVEmyBEACH volunteer like Janet, click What can I do? to find out more.