Nearly every beach in England and Wales has met Europe’s highest cleanliness standards this year according to Environment Agency tests.
The tests reveal the quality of water in 97% of bathing sites is of a sufficient standard to be classified as “excellent”.
But the agency says the results were based on early season sampling and could change over the coming months. It says the recent spell of good weather and action to reduce pollution from farms and sewer overflows are responsible for the improved test results.
The Environment Agency tests show a rise in the number it classifies as excellent of almost a fifth, from 76% 10 years ago to the current 97%. Inspectors take weekly water samples at 494 sites to measure pollution levels between May and September each year.
Last week the Marine Conservation Society rated 421 of 769 UK beaches as excellent – 33 more than 2009, but below the 505 rated highly in 2006. Its annual Good Beach Guide revealed more beaches have excellent water quality than last year, but pollution has worsened since 2006.
Source: BBC News website