Beaches hit water­mark, say ex­perts

Sunderland Echo - - News - By Echo Re­porter echo.news@north­east-press.co.uk Twit­ter: @sun­der­lan­de­cho

Sun­der­land’s beaches have passed a wa­ter qual­ity test with fly­ing colours.

Roker and Se­aburn beaches have been given “ex­cel­lent” sta­tus by De­fra.

The rat­ings are awarded af­ter sam­ples are taken by the En­vi­ron­ment Agency be­tween May and Septem­ber each year to as­sess the bathing waters against the strict reg­u­la­tions.

Sir James Be­van, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the En­vi­ron­ment Agency, added: “Main­tain­ing such high wa­ter qual­ity stan­dards at English beaches is a huge suc­cess and a credit to all those in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions work­ing hard to keep our bathing waters clean.

“Wa­ter qual­ity has im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly over the last two decades – but to pro­tect and en­hance wa­ter qual­ity even fur­ther we will need ev­ery­one to take the small ac­tions that will help.”

North East bathing wad­own ters which have achieved the “ex­cel­lent” stan­dard are Bam­burgh Cas­tle Sea­houses North; Bead­nell; Low New­ton; Wark­worth; Am­ble Links; Druridge Bay North; Druridge Bay South; New­big­gin South; Blyth South; Seaton Sluice; Whit­ley Bay; Tynemouth Longsands North; Tynemouth Longsands South; Tynemouth King Ed­wards Bay; South Shields; Se­aburn (Whit­burn North); Roker (Whit­burn South); Sea­ham Hall; Sea­ham; Crim­don; Seaton Carew (Cen­tre); Seaton Carew (North Gare); Marske Sands and Salt­burn.

Those that have achieved the “good” stan­dard are New­big­gin North, Mars­den, Seaton Carew (North), Red­car Coatham, Red­car Lifeboat Sta­tion, Red­car Granville and Red­car Stray. Spit­tal and Culler­coats are rated as “suf­fi­cient”, mean­ing all 34 pass the Euro­pean stan­dards.

Northum­brian Wa­ter is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to look af­ter the re­gion’s bathing waters by be­ing care­ful about what they flush toi­lets and not putting grease and fat down drains.

The com­pany’s waste­water di­rec­tor, Richard Warne­ford, said: “Back in 2000, only four North East bathing waters achieved the stan­dards that were in place at the time.

“So to­day shows a mas­sive im­prove­ment that we and all of our part­ners can be proud of.

“We place the en­vi­ron­ment at the heart of what we do and are ex­tremely proud of the in­vest­ment and part­ner­ship work­ing that we carry out to make our beaches a great place to visit.

“There is al­ways work to be done to im­prove things fur­ther and we will not be com­pla­cent.”

Se­aburn Beach has been given an “ex­cel­lent” rat­ing in this year’s wa­ter qual­ity test.

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