Region's beaches dirtiest in UK

The North West is once again the worst performing region in the country for water quality.

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Wet weather has contributed

The North West experienced some heavy summer downpours during 2011, which can reduce the quality of bathing waters, by causing untreated sewage to discharge into coastal waters.

It also increases surface water run-off, which may contain livestock waste and dog faeces from farm land and city streets, polluting coastal waters.