Official Statistics

Bathing water quality statistics

Annual statistics showing if bathing waters in England meet regulatory standards.

Applies to England

Documents

Statistics on bathing waters in England for 2017 (revised May 2018)

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Statistics on bathing waters in England for 2016

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Statistics on UK bathing waters for 2015

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Details

Bathing waters in England have not been classified in 2020. This is due to the severe impacts on bathing water monitoring and analysis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and the necessary adherence with government guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.

An official statistic has not been produced for 2020.

The Environment Agency closely monitors beaches and inland waters that are designated bathing waters to check that standards are being maintained.

They must publish the official statistics and classifications awarded.

Bathing waters can be classified as ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘sufficient’ or ‘poor’.

Latest results – 2019

Out of 420 bathing waters:

  • 413 (98.3 per cent) met at least the minimum standard
  • 300 (71.4 per cent) were classified as ‘excellent’
  • 7 (1.7 per cent) did not meet the minimum standard and were classified as ‘poor’
Classification % Numbers
Excellent 71.4% 300
Good 21.9% 92
Sufficient 5.0% 21
Poor 1.7% 7

Bathing water quality in the rest of the UK

See additional statistical data.

Contact

Email enviro.statistics@defra.gov.uk with any queries.

You can also contact the Defra statistics team via Twitter.

Published 26 November 2012
Last updated 15 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Cancellation of the 2020 release due to impacts of Covid19

  2. 2019 results published

  3. A change to the classification of Southend Three Shells and the associated figures.

  4. 2018 figures released

  5. Change to the classification of a bathing water.site

  6. Annual update.

  7. Annual update to publication.

  8. Added summary for English beaches and links to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland information.

  9. New figures for UK published 5 November

  10. Bathing water statistics for 2014 published.

  11. 2013 figures

  12. First published.