In our region, over £350 million has been invested in bathing water quality improvement schemes, including :
• Secondary treatment of sewage at coastal sewage treatment works as well as long sea outfalls
• Ultraviolet (UV) treatment of treated sewage at six major coastal sewage treatment works during the Bathing Season - 61% of the population served are connected to a UV plant
• Improvements in sewerage and outfalls at the coast
This has resulted in a significant improvement in bathing water quality which means our bathing waters are amongst the cleanest in England and Wales.
The main driver behind this improvement has been the introduction of several EU Directives. These include the Bathing Water Directive and the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.
Although there has been a vast improvement in the bathing water quality in our region there is still work to do. Our customers expect access to clean safe bathing waters and we must play a leading role in future improvements.
With support of our customers, the Environment Agency and beach managers, we are conducting investigations into what future improvements can be made to our assets to achieve even higher bathing water quality. This includes modelling the coastal inputs (from CSOs, agriculture and urban run-off) and their impacts.
Our Customer Focused Bathing Water Policy
To meet our customers′ expectations of clean and safe bathing water quality we have developed our policy which sets out the things we need to do now and into the future to make further improvements.
Our aspiration is, that by working in collaboration with our regional partners, we will move towards all bathing water in our region being classified as Excellent. The first step in realising this goal is to attain our target of 100% of our bathing waters being at least Good by 2020.