Generally, water quality issues are looked after by the Environment Agency. This national environmental regulator is responsible for controlling discharges to rivers and other water courses, lakes and coastal waters. It also looks after flood defence issues and the drinking water resources. If you have a problem, or have spotted pollution in a watercourse then you can contact them direct on 0800 80 70 60 at any time. Alternatively you can contact us and we will take the matter up with them for you.
Drinking water supplies are separately regulated, being provided by Northumbrian Water Limited. If you have a problem related to drinking water quality you can either contact your supplier direct or again contact us and we will take the appropriate action.
Certain coastal waters used for bathing and recreation are designated under the Bathing Waters Directive. A new classification system for bathing waters was introduced in 2015, with Councils required to provide information on the more stringent standards during the bathing season, which runs from 15 May to 30 September each year. Each bathing water beach is given one of the following annual classifications:
Excellent - the highest, cleanest class
Good - generally good water quality
Sufficient - the water meets minimum standards
Poor - the water has not met the minimum standards. Work is planned to improve bathing waters not yet reaching Sufficient.
In South Tyneside, there are two designated bathing waters located at Sandhaven Beach and Marsden Beach. These waters were designated with the classification Excellent and Good respectively for 2016.