East Anglia’s beaches given clean bill of health

Excellent water quality at our beaches, says Environment Agency

Water quality at East Anglia's bathing beaches is generally excellent, according to the latest sampling programme by the Environment Agency.

The majority of beaches in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex have passed the strictest bacteriological standards to be classed as excellent, and all other beaches have achieved the minimum standards required for bathing.

This year has proved to be on record. Significant improvements in water quality were recorded at both Southwold and at Walton in Essex.

Senior Environment Agency officer John Daniels said: 'This is a big achievement and we are delighted all of the bathing waters we monitor continue to achieve a high standard of water quality.

'Not only is it good news for those living on or spending their holidays on our coast, but it is also great news for both onshore wildlife and marine life.'

The Environment Agency is responsible for monitoring bathing water quality at EU designated bathing water sites to assess water quality against EU standards.

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Each year, between May 1 and September 30, the agency takes 20 samples from each of the designated sites.

Tests are carried out primarily for coliforms and streptococci. They are the type of bacteria usually associated with upset stomachs and can come from waste water or from animal origin, for example from poorly-treated sewage or animal faeces.

The Environment Agency also records other information about the beach to ensure it continues to meet the required standards, for example the presence of sewage-derived litter and foaming, along with beach usage information.

n Beaches to have passed EU guideline and mandatory standards include: Cromer (adjacent to pier), East Runton, Mundesley (at slipway), Sea Palling (opposite Beach Road), Sheringham (East Promenade), Wells (opposite coastguard lookout), Caister (opposite lifeboat station), Great Yarmouth (coastguard lookout, opposite Marina Leisure Centre and opposite Nelson Gardens), Hemsby (opposite Beach Road), Gorleston (opposite Cliff Avenue), Lowestoft (north of Claremont Pier and at Victoria bathing station), Southwold (The Denes and at pier) and Felixstowe (North Beach at Spa Pavilion and South Beach opposite Russell Road).