Sunderland beaches set to pass tough new water quality tests

SUNNY OUTLOOK: Seaburn beach is set to retain its 'good' quality rating under new test standards.

SUNNY OUTLOOK: Seaburn beach is set to retain its 'good' quality rating under new test standards.

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SUNDERLAND’S beaches are set to get the thumbs-up for water quality despite the introduction of tough new tests.

The European standards will be twice as tough to pass and Environment Agency staff will be testing water quality throughout the summer, with the results made available through a new Bathing Water Explorer website.

The city council does and will continue to do all it practically can to help ensure that our beaches continue to be enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year.

Coun Michael Mordey

On their past record, 18 beaches in the North East are expected to be classed “excellent”. Seaburn and Roker are expected to retain their “good” rating.

City council Portfolio Holder for City Services Coun Michael Mordey said: “We all want good beaches and clean seas and, as the agency notes, run-off after extreme rainfall or other surface water draining into the sea can all influence test results.

“The city council does and will continue to do all it practically can to help ensure that our beaches continue to be enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year.”

Environment Agency manager Julie Brooker said: “This is an excellent result for the North East.

“The Environment Agency has worked hard with local councils, land owners and Northumbrian Water to improve the quality of the bathing water.

“To have over half our beaches classed ‘excellent’ against the new tougher standards proves that the hard work is paying off.”

The other classifications available are “sufficient” and “poor”.