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Wales continues to have some of the cleanest bathing water in Europe, new figures out today reveal.

First published:
1 November 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The Bathing Water Quality Results 2019 show Wales has, once again, met 100% bathing water quality compliance standards at all of its 105 designated bathing waters.

Following water sampling undertaken throughout the summer by Natural Resources Wales, 83 areas achieved the EU’s highest classification of ‘excellent’, up from last year’s figure of 78. No areas have been classified as ‘poor’. Excellent bathing water quality is one of the key criteria required for a prestigious Blue Flag award. 

Bathing areas classified as ‘excellent’ today include Porth Eirias, Oxwich Bay and Southerndown.

The publication of today’s statistics is another boost for Wales’ coastal tourism industry. In a standout summer for the Welsh coast, Castle Beach, Tenby was, earlier this year, named Sunday Times Beach of the Year, 1 of 3 Welsh beaches that made the Top 10 and 1 of 8 in the Top 40.

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths welcomed the statistics. She said:

We all know Wales has some of the most stunning coastline in Europe and these statistics prove we officially have some of the cleanest bathing water too. This is no fluke - I pay tribute to our partners including NRW, Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water and local authorities who all play a vital role in maintaining the high quality of our bathing water.

Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism added: 

This is a fantastic achievement, a true team effort and shows how Wales is committed to safeguarding our amazing natural assets for visitors as well as for residents and communities. The new action plan for the Visitor Economy has sustainability at its heart, and we will continue to work with partners to deliver a first class visitor experience which also looks after our natural assets.

Ceri Davies, Executive Director of Evidence, Policy and Permitting for NRW, said:

Ensuring our bathing waters are safe and clean for people and wildlife is a huge part of our job and we are particularly pleased all of our 105 designated bathing waters continue to meet EU quality standards. We remain committed to working with our partners to improve and protect the wonderful Welsh coastline, to maintaining the highest standards for all those who work, play and live in and around our waters.