A coastline bathing in success

06.11.2014

The North East coastline is bathing in success today as DEFRA announces this year’s sea water quality results.

Thirty one of the region’s 34 bathing waters have met the highest European water quality standard, known as ‘Guideline’.

These results, along with those in 2011, are the best bathing water results the North East has achieved and they reflect £1 billion of investment by Northumbrian Water, over the last two decades, to improve bathing water quality and to help ensure the region’s coastline is one of the best in the country.

In 2011 Northumbrian Water was the first water company to have more than 90% of its bathing waters pass the stringent Guideline measure.

Twenty sea water samples are taken by the Environment Agency at each bathing water location, between 1 May and 30 September, to determine levels of bacteria in sea water and which water quality standard has been achieved.

Northumbrian Water’s operations director, Graham Neave, said: “We are delighted with these bathing water results which are in stark contrast to those in 2000, when only four bathing waters in the North East achieved the Guideline standard. The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive was introduced in the same year and since then we have invested heavily to improve the quality of water which is discharged from our coastal sewage treatment works and to upgrade sections of the sewer network that impact on bathing water quality.

“Looking after the environment is at the heart of what we do. We are proud of the contribution we have made to protect and improve our region’s stunning coastline and we appreciate the significant impact that beaches have on tourism, the economy and the leisure industry. We are not complacent and know that there is more work to do to ensure bathing water quality in the North East remains among the best in the country.”

North East bathing waters which have achieved the Guideline standard include Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses North, Beadnell, Low Newton, Warkworth, Amble Links, Druridge Bay North, Druridge Bay South, Newbiggin North, Newbiggin South, Blyth South Beach, Whitley Bay, Cullercoats, Long Sands North, Long Sands South, King Edwards Bay, South Shields, Marsden, Whitburn North, Roker/Whitburn South, Seaham Hall, Seaham Beach, Crimdon, Seaton Carew North, Seaton Carew Centre, Seaton Carew North Gare, Redcar Coatham, Redcar Lifeboat Station, Redcar Stray, Marske and Saltburn.

Bathing waters which have achieved Mandatory standard are Spitall, Seaton Sluice and Redcar Granville.

From 2015 tighter bathing water standards are to be introduced and Northumbrian Water is to invest more than £2 million to carry out investigation work to understand how bathing water quality can be improved at various locations including those which have achieved the mandatory standard this year.

For further information contact Cara Charlton on 0191 301 6720, 07764 926 728 or cara.charlton@nwl.co.uk.

For more detailed information about this year’s bathing water results and the new tighter bathing water standards being introduced next year, please log onto https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs.

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