The Environment Agency has today (March 25) created detailed profiles of the cleanliness of around 500 sites across England and Wales.

Water quality is displayed in a number of ways including using green dots highlighting good quality and red marking out polluted areas.

Last year, a record number of beaches and inland bathing waters in England and Wales reached the highest European standards of quality.

On average more than eight in 10 beaches met the European Union’s guideline standard across England and Wales – compared to just three in ten in 1990.

Environment Agency director of environment and business, Ed Mitchell, 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, we are working hard to tackle all sources of pollution, alongside beach users, local authorities, farmers and water companies.”

Surfers Against Sewage campaigns director, Andy Cummins, added: “The new bathing water profiles are a significant step forward in the provision of public information about important coastal environments.

“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.”

Luke Walsh

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