Section of Suffolk's River Deben is designated as safe bathing water for wild swimmers

Pictures by National Trust Images / Justin Minns
Views of the River Deben in Suffolk Credit: National Trust

Four wild swimming spots have been designated as bathing waters ahead of the summer season.

One of those includes a section of the River Deben in Suffolk.

It means the site at Waldringfield near Woodbridge will be monitored on a regular basis so wild swimmers can be reassured that the water is safe.

It joins three other sites to receive bathing water status from next month, announced by the government. They includes sites in Rutland and in Devon.

It follows the publication last week of the Government's Plan For Water, which said water companies could face unlimited fines for dumping raw sewage in rivers, and outlined proposals which could see wet wipes containing plastic banned.

The section of the River Deben at Waldringfield will soon benefit from regular water-quality monitoring. Credit: Paul Coates

Labour said the plan amounted to a rehash of old policies and claimed the measures would not stop sewage being dumped.

Water minister Rebecca Pow said: "These popular swimming spots will now undergo regular monitoring, starting this May, so bathers have up-to-date information on the quality of the water.

"The regular monitoring also means that action can be taken if minimum standards aren't being met."

The Environment Agency will take regular samples at the newly designated sites during the bathing season - which runs between May 15 and September 30.

It will assess whether action is needed to cut pollution levels and works with local communities, farmers and water companies to improve water quality at the sites.

The Government said the proportion of bathing waters assessed as 'good' or 'excellent' has increased from 76% to 93%, while 72% are considered 'excellent' compared with 51% in 2010.

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