Record number of ‘Excellent’ bathing waters in Devon and Cornwall

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Saturday 1st December 2018 11:11 am
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MORE Devon and Cornwall beaches than ever have been classed as "Excellent", the Environment Agency has revealed.

Eight new bathing waters joined the agency’s programme of water quality testing this year – and all achieved the top classification of "Excellent".

Another highlight was seeing Torre Abbey, Paignton Preston and Broadsands improve from "Good" to "Excellent".

This took the number of "Excellent" bathing waters in Devon and Cornwall up to 118.

Bathing waters classed "Good" and "Sufficient" numbered 26 and four, respectively. Only two were classed as "Poor". This means 98.7 per cent of the region’s 150 bathing waters passed tough standards.

Bruce Newport, area environment manager for the Environment Agency in Devon and Cornwall, said: “Our oceans are a valuable resource for both food, leisure and the economy. Checking how clean they are is a role the Environment Agency takes very seriously and we are delighted with the record results this year.

“Everyone’s continued hard work has paid off. We are delighted to see such great water quality at our beaches which contribute so much to the local economy and are now a signature of the South West.”

Throughout the bathing water season from May to September, staff from the Environment Agency take up to 20 samples at each designated bathing spot. These are tested in Environment Agency laboratories and the results are published online.

Nationally, 97.9 per cent of the country’s 420 bathing waters passed tough standards.

This year, more people than ever checked out the Environment Agency’s bathing water website the Bathing Water Data Explorer at: https://environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles/ which includes a searchable map allowing you to check the water quality at beaches and bathing waters before making a visit.

The website, featuring the latest test results available, was visited 109,400 times – more than double the amount from 2017.

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