North East coastal waters being monitored for bathing quality

Whitley Bay, one of the beaches classified as bathing water by the Environment Agency.

Bathing water along along the North East coast is being tested regularly from today.

The Environment Agency has said it will monitor quality at 34 sites across the region, going as far north as Spittal, near Berwick, and as far south as Saltburn.

Of these sites, 33 are classified by the organisation as 'good' or 'excellent'. One, Cullercoats, is rated 'poor'. The agency has said it is investigating this with Northumbrian Water.

The organisation has said it will issue warnings of any forecasted pollution risk on its website, Swimfo, with signs also put up at swimming locations to inform bathers about any changes in quality as a result of things like rainfall, wind and high tides.

The bathing water season started today (15 May) with the Environment Agency carrying out regular testing of water quality at designated bathing sites until the end of September.

In the autumn classifications will be published for each designated bathing water site.

Environment Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd said:

The agency also pointed out that actions in the home can have an impact on rivers and coasts. It has urged people not to pouring fats, oils and greases down the sink and not to flush wet wipes and other plastic products down toilets.