The Environment Agency says the results of the measures it has taken to improve bathing water along the south coast have, so far, been promising

The Environment Agency is pleased to announce that this season’s bathing water results are so far showing an improvement on those from the same time last year. Currently none of the bathing waters in the Southern Region have failed to comply with the Mandatory Standards for the 2001 season.

The bathing water quality survey, which began in May, will continue until the end of September. Environment Agency officers take the samples of water each week, at predetermined points, on beaches where there are the highest concentrations of bathers along the coasts of Hampshire, Sussex and Kent to ensure compliance with the EC Bathing Water Directive.

The data collected is then issued each week to Local Authorities who display the results at local bathing waters. The information is also available from the Agency offices and on the website: At the end of the bathing season the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will assess the results for bathing water directive compliance.

Environment Agency Regional Water Quality Manager, Bob Edmunds said, “Last year the bathing water quality in the Southern Region was the best ever with only two bathing waters failing the Mandatory Standards. This year’s figures certainly look promising, with no failures so far. The underlying trend of improvements is continuing – so I am cautiously optimistic.”