North Tyneside’s beaches have again been recognised for their high standards.
Whitley Bay, Tynemouth Longsands North, Tynemouth Longsands South and King Edwards Bay have all had their bathing waters rated excellent by Defra.
But there was disappointment for Cullercoats whose waters were declared as sufficient, which was still enough to pass European standards.
Work is continuing between Northumbrian Water and North Tyneside Council to improve the standards at Cullercoats.
Richard Warneford, Northumbrian Water’s wastewater director, said: “Our two decades of investment has yielded significant benefits, and we are confident that by maintaining focus upon the North East coastline we can continue to drive improvements and make the region’s coast a beacon for excellent bathing water.
“Investment in improved storm water storage facilities throughout our network over the years and through our Rainwise initiative, where we remove surface water from our sewer network and divert it into the natural environment, will have contributed to these results.
“Back in 2000, only four North East bathing waters achieved the standards that were in place at the time, so today shows a massive improvement that we and all of our partners can be proud of.
“We place the environment at the heart of what we do and are extremely proud of the investment and partnership working that we carry out to make our beaches a great place to visit.
“There is always work to be done to improve things further and we will not be complacent.
“For example, a team from North Tyneside Council, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water, is investigating what we can do better at Cullercoats.”
Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, added: “Maintaining such high water quality standards at English beaches is a huge success and a credit to all those individuals and organisations working hard to keep our bathing waters clean.
“Water quality has improved significantly over the last two decades – but to protect and enhance water quality even further we will need everyone to take the small actions that will help.”
Northumbrian Water is encouraging their customers to also help to look after the region’s bathing waters by only flushing toilet paper, pee and poo down the loo and by not putting grease and fat down drains. This will help to prevent blockages and potential pollution.