Sunderland’s beaches have passed a water quality test with flying colours.
Roker and Seaburn beaches have been given ‘excellent’ status by Defra.
The ratings are awarded after samples are taken by the Environment Agency between May and September each year to assess the bathing waters against the strict regulations.
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.”
North East bathing waters which have achieved the ‘excellent’ standard are Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses North, Beadnell, Low Newton, Warkworth, Amble Links, Druridge Bay North, Druridge Bay South, Newbiggin South, Blyth South, Seaton Sluice, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth Longsands North, Tynemouth Longsands South, Tynemouth King Edwards Bay, South Shields, Seaburn (Whitburn North), Roker (Whitburn South), Seaham Hall, Seaham, Crimdon, Seaton Carew (Centre), Seaton Carew (North Gare), Marske Sands and Saltburn.
Those that have achieved the ‘good’ standard are Newbiggin North, Marsden, Seaton Carew (North), Redcar Coatham, Redcar Lifeboat Station, Redcar Granville and Redcar Stray. Spittal and Cullercoats are rated as ‘sufficient’ meaning all 34 pass the European standards.
Northumbrian Water is encouraging people to look after the region’s bathing waters by being careful about what they flush down toilets and not putting grease and fat down drains.
The company’s Wastewater Director, Richard Warneford, said: “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.”