Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT January 2020

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 24 of 39

Databank A record number of British bathing waters have been rated as either "excellent" or "good", according to the latest set of official figures. The figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show 71.4 per cent of the 420 bathing waters assessed in 2019 were rated as "excellent" and 21.9 per cent were rated as "good". Of those assessed, just seven (1.7 per cent) were judged to have not met the minimum standard and rated as "poor". The trade body Water UK said the latest figures are in "stark contrast" to the early 1990s, when less than a third of bathing waters would have met today's standards follow- ing years of underinvestment when the water sector was owned and run by the govern- ment. In a statement, it added that since then water com- panies have spent over £2.5 billion to protect UK bathing waters, more than doubling the number of beaches classed as excellent compared to 25 years ago. Some of the work that wa- ter and sewerage companies have carried out to help reach these record figures includes completed significant up- grades by South West Water to its wastewater infrastructure across Plymouth to further improve water quality in the Plymouth Sound and protect bathing water quality at Plymouth Hoe East and West beaches. The £28 million investment included improving key storm- water overflows across the city, removing surface water from the sewerage network in Cattedown and increasing stormwater storage capacity in Stonehouse. "These results are testa- ment to the ongoing determi- nation of the water and sewer- age industry to protect and enhance our precious natural environment," said Water UK's outgoing chief executive, Michael Roberts. "Our bathing waters are better than ever, providing solid proof that the huge investment by compa- nies is paying off. We want to go further, which is why the sector has made a major com- mitment to spend a record £5 billion between 2020 and 2025 on environmental improve- ments, and we're going to continue getting better results by cutting serious pollution incidents by 90 per cent." BATHING WATER QUALITY Bathing water classification: England Bathing water standards www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | JANUARY 2020 | 25 Source: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Source: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs 98.3% Bathing waters in England that met at least the minimum standard. 71.4% Bathing waters in England rated 'excellent'. 1.7% Bathing waters in England rated 'poor'. 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 Bathing waters assessed: 415 Excellent: 264 63.6% Good: 110 26.5% Sufficient: 29 7.0% Poor: 12 2.9% Bathing waters assessed: 413 Excellent: 287 69.5% Good: 98 23.7% Sufficient: 22 5.3% Poor: 6 1.5% Bathing waters assessed: 413 Excellent: 271 65.6% Good: 109 25.2% Sufficient: 26 6.3% Poor: 7 1.7% Bathing waters assessed: 420 Excellent: 282 67.1% Good: 106 25.2% Sufficient: 23 5.5% Poor: 9 2.1% Bathing waters assessed: 420 Excellent: 300 71.4% Good: 92 21.9% Sufficient: 21 5.0% Poor: 7 1.7 %

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