Bathing water results for 2018

The 2018 bathing water results are out and classifications for the North West’s 30 designated bathing waters (including 4 inland) are given below.

A new classification for bathing water quality was brought in 4 years ago. The new classifications are much tougher than the previous system of classification but 97.9% of bathing waters in England now comply with at least the minimum standard. The results are based on four seasons (May to September) of monitoring for the bacteria Escherichia coli and intestinal enterococci in the water so the 2018 results actually reflect the water quality from 2015-2018. The level of bacteria can be impacted by a range of factors including the weather, e.g. high rainfall causing sewer overflows, or other issues such as pollution from agriculture or urban areas.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

“This is great news for anyone who enjoys a trip to the seaside. We want everyone to be confident in the quality of our bathing waters and that’s why the Environment Agency carry out regular tests to protect the health of visitors. Britain’s beaches are visited around 130 million times each year, generating over £7 billion for the economy. Working together we can all keep driving up standards to reduce pollution, ensuring everyone can continue to enjoy our iconic coastline.”

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency said:

“Seaside tourism is worth over £7 billion to the economy and good water quality is essential for people to visit and enjoy our beautiful beaches. The Environment Agency’s hard work has helped 388 beaches achieve the top Excellent or Good ratings this year and at beach cleans throughout the summer I’ve seen the commitment of local communities and campaigners to reduce pollution and protect our environment. Everyone can take small steps to help us protect water quality as we continue work with water companies, councils and local communities to maintain high bathing water standards.”

Out of 30 designated bathing waters in the North West:

10 are classified as ‘Excellent’ – the cleanest water. These include 4 inland freshwater bathing sites and are:


  • Formby, Merseyside
  • Meols, Merseyside
  • Moreton, Merseyside
  • Silecroft, Cumbria
  • St Bees, Cumbria
  • West Kirby, Merseyside


  • Windermere, Lakeside YMCA, Cumbria
  • Windermere, Millerground Landing, Cumbria
  • Windermere, Rayrigg Meadow, Cumbria
  • Windermere, Fellfoot, Cumbria

16 are classified as ‘Good’ – generally good quality water:

  • Ainsdale, Merseyside
  • Allonby, Cumbria
  • Blackpool South, Lancashire
  • Blackpool Central, Lancashire
  • Bispham, Lancashire
  • Cleveleys, Lancashire
  • Fleetwood, Lancashire
  • Morecambe North, Lancashire
  • Morecambe South, Lancashire
  • Seascale, Cumbria
  • Southport, Merseyside
  • St Annes, Lancashire
  • St Annes North, Lancashire
  • Walney Sandy Gap, Cumbria
  • Walney West Shore. Cumbria
  • Wallasey, Merseyside

3 are classified as ‘Sufficient’ (meeting the minimum standard for bathing water quality)

  •  Blackpool North, Lancashire
  • Haverigg, Cumbria
  • Walney Biggar Bank, Cumbria

Only 1 is classed as ‘Poor’ (does not meet the minimum quality standard):

Allonby South, Cumbria

Full details of the results can be found here

For more information on local beaches check out the Environment Agency’s Bathing Water Data Explorer

Tags: , , , ,