Bathed in Glory

Posted by: Kaye Russell on 20 December 2023 16:57

Beaches in South Tyneside have been given the seal of approval with improved ratings for bathing water quality.

The bathing water at Sandhaven has met 'Excellent' standard based on samples taken by the Environment Agency. Marsden has also been classified as 'Good'.

Councillor Ernest Gibson at Sandhaven South Shields, where the bathing water has been rated as ‘Excellent’.

The ratings for both of the Borough's designated bathing water beaches means that the water exceeds minimum standards for quality. Excellent classification for Sandhaven also enables the Council to be able to apply for Blue Flag status.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Neighbourhoods and Climate Change at South Tyneside Council, said: "It's fantastic to see Sandhaven regaining an 'Excellent' rating and Marsden securing 'Good' status, both improvements on last year.

"South Tyneside beaches are some of the most stunning, best loved local amenities, attracting visitors from near and far all year round and are particularly popular for water sports, sea swims or just taking a dip at the seaside.

"And like those in many coastal communities, local people are passionate about the quality of their coastal waters and the importance of protecting it for bathing, for marine life and the environment.

"With issues such as sewage spills in the national spotlight, it is extremely reassuring that we are in a strong position for water cleanliness and can give people the confidence to make an informed decision before entering the water.

"This is testament to the work we do with our partners and the support of local volunteers to keep our beaches clean and tidy. However, we are not complacent and make every effort to improve standards in bathing water quality even further wherever we can."

The bathing water quality classifications are awarded by the Environment Agency which closely monitors sources of pollution to ensure the water complies with regulations.

Latest information from the Agency shows that 96 per cent of bathing water in England meet minimum standards, with 90 per cent being rated as 'Good' or 'Excellent'.

The Council recently applied to DEFRA for Littlehaven beach to become designated bathing waters. If approved, it would mean that the waters would be regularly monitored and tested by the Environment Agency during the annual bathing season (May to September), before being given a bathing water classification of 'Poor', 'Sufficient', 'Good' or 'Excellent'.

A decision on whether Littlehaven will be approved is expected in the spring 2024.

The latest ratings for Sandhaven and Marsden support the work of the Council following its ocean recovery declaration, Motion for the Ocean. In endorsing the Motion in January 2022, the Council made a commitment to take positive action to help enhance, restore and protect the ocean.


Last modified: 01 March 2024 15:59