Bathing water quality slips slightly, still lags behind rest of Europe

Insufficient investment in sewage treatment is blamed for the lack of improvement in bathing water quality, with around two-thirds rated “excellent” for third year running

'Excellent' rating no guarantee of water quality on a given day. Photograph: 123RFThe proportion of beaches achieving bathing water standards reached 98.3% in 2017, though this was a slight fall from 98.5% 2016. The number of beaches achieving “excellent” status also declined.

The 413 bathing waters tested were at the same locations as last year, according to the data from DEFRA.

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