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More Welsh beaches receive 'top water quality award'

More Welsh bathing beaches have received a marine charity's top water quality award after the driest summer since 2003. The Marine Conservation Society recommends 109 Welsh beaches as having excellent water quality for taking a dip.

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Beach water quality improvement 'great news' for Wales

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) Wales Programme Manager, Gill Bell, says she hopes the latest figures on Welsh beach water quality will be a boost to tourism in Wales.

The MCS has recommended 109 out of 152 Welsh beaches tested during last summer as having excellent water quality - that's 11 more than the previous year.

It's great news that we are able to recommend so many beaches for excellent water quality and it shows just how good Welsh beaches can be. The main challenge now is maintaining these standards, whatever the weather.

Most people don't realise what a big impact the weather can have on bathing water quality, but this has really been highlighted in the last few years. 2008, 2009 and 2012 were, according to the Met Office, amongst the wettest summers on record since 1910, and fewer UK bathing waters met minimum and higher water quality standards because of increased pollution running off rural and urban areas and overloaded sewers.

Visitors to the Good Beach Guide will now be able to see really up to date information. We've supported the development of forecast systems that provide information about when water quality is likely to be temporarily poor.

But these predictions are no replacement for improvements and so Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and local authorities must continue to improve sewerage infrastructure and reduce diffuse pollution so that eventually we will only need such warnings during and after exceptionally wet weather.

– Gill Bell, Marine Conservation Society Wales Programme Manager

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