Environment Agency resumes on-site bathing water monitoring

The Environment Agency has resumed sampling at bathing water sites following the government advice on easing lockdown restrictions.

Throughout lockdown, regulatory work has continued to maintain the quality of bathing waters, including pollution prevention measures such as ensuring that permitted discharges do not affect water quality.

Now that on-site monitoring can resume, the data from this will help highlight trends in bathing water quality and provide useful data to the public this summer.

Bathing water quality in England remains high with 98.3% of bathing waters passing the minimum standard in 2019, and of these, 71% are classified as Excellent.

The latest classifications for over 400 designated bathing waters in England can be found on our water quality website.

Our daily pollution risk forecasting service has been providing updates on water quality throughout lockdown. This year the system has been upgraded providing even more accurate forecasts of when a temporary reduction in water quality is likely. Information on pollution risk forecasts and warnings can be found on gov.uk.

The Environment Agency will continue to seek improvements to bathing water quality, but everyone has a part to play. You can protect the quality of bathing waters and beaches by following some simple advice:

  • Always put litter in the bin at the beach or take it away with you to dispose of at home;
  • Wet wipes, cotton buds and sanitary items should go in the bin and not be flushed.
  • Don’t pour fats, oils and grease down the sink, these can pollute rivers and coastal waters and can set in pipes causing blockages.