Water quality good and getting better

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Bathing water quality at the county’s beaches has improved dramatically since last year, according to the latest test results released by the Environment Agency.

Beaches continue to follow a trend of general improvement, with all 34 of the north east’s bathing waters meeting the mandatory water quality standard.

Trevor Hardy, regional environmental planning manager at the Environment Agency, said: “This year’s results are great news for the north east.

“We have some fabulous beaches here and these results will give residents and visitors real confidence that water quality is good and getting better.

“The Environment Agency has been working with water companies, councils and farmers to reduce discharges, agricultural run-off and cross connections that can have a detrimental effect on water quality, and combined with the fact that this year has been much drier than 2012, we have seen one of the best set of results in 20 years.

“Meeting tough new water quality targets is a huge challenge in which everyone – from local government to industry and local communities – has a part to play.”

Lord Chris Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, said: “We are working hard with local authorities, businesses and water companies to ensure that bathing waters meet the new standards, and the seaside tourist economy in England continues to thrive.”