Bathing waters profiled online
Friday 25 March 2011
Ratings and information about beaches and swimming spots in England and Wales are now available online.
The Environment Agency said cleanliness ratings are available on around 500 sites as well as photographs and maps.
The new bathing water profiles at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/bathingwaters have links to the latest water quality results for each of the country's designated coastal and inland bathing sites.
They have been released to help the public make more informed choices about the best locations to visit and enjoy, the agency said.
A record number of beaches and inland bathing waters in England and Wales reached the highest European standards in water quality last year, according to the Environment Agency.
Over eight in 10 beaches met the EU guideline standard across England and Wales - compared with just three in 10 in 1990.
The Environment Agency has helped to direct around £8 billion of water company investment to upgrade the country's sewage system and reduce pollution in the past two decades, leading to huge improvements in bathing water quality.
However, it said there is more work to be done to drive further improvements in water quality, and it is working to identify and tackle sources of pollution at all bathing sites.
Ed Mitchell, Environment Agency director of environment and business, said: "Our new profiles provide the most comprehensive information yet on the cleanliness of bathing waters, helping the public to make more informed choices about the best locations to bathe.
"A record number of beaches reached the highest European standards last year but we are not complacent. The Environment Agency is working hard to tackle all sources of pollution, alongside beach users, local authorities, farmers and water companies."
Andy Cummins, campaigns director for Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), added: "The new bathing water profiles are a significant step forward in the provision of public information about important coastal environments.
"Beach lovers, including many SAS members, can learn about the environmental impacts on their coast.
"These bathing water profiles will not make the water cleaner, but they will allow beach users to make more informed decisions about when is best to use the water and the information to know when it might be better to give it a miss due to pollution incidents."
The public can find out information about bathing waters in their area by visiting the Environment Agency's website at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/bathingwaters.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Business class to New York at economical prices - but will it fly?
French air-traffic controllers strike Q&A: When is the strike and which travellers will be affected?
12 best hotels in London
Transport for London czar attacks capital's 's***' National Rail commuter trains with 'Gestapo' staff
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...
£20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...
£17500 - £20500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a great te...