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Another good year for British beaches

Beaches around the country achieved top water quality standards this year as millions flocked to the coast to enjoy the record-breaking hot weather.

97.9% of bathing waters passed tough standards following a programme of water quality testing at 420 bathing spots carried out by the Environment Agency (EA) from May to September.

The results also show that 92.4% of the beaches and inland lakes tested were give the top rating of ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good.’ Beaches at Whitby (Yorkshire), Sidmouth Jacobs Ladder (Devon) and Skegness (Lincolnshire) have all kept their Excellent rating for the fourth year in a row.

In the early 1990s just 28% of bathing waters would have met today’s standards but dramatic improvements have been made to water quality over the last two decades, in part due to EA regulation reducing pollution from water companies and industry, and the work of local councils and communities.

This year, more people than ever checked out the EA’s bathing water website the Bathing Water Data Explorer which includes a searchable map allowing you to check the water quality at beaches and bathing waters before making a visit. The website, featuring the latest test results available was visited 109,400 times – more than double the amount from 2017.

Alternatively, further information is available in the


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