Samplers hit the shores as bathing water sampling begins
As the promise of long sunny days by the sea looms, Natural Resources Wales’s bathing water samplers are once again hitting the shores to test Wales’s 109 designated bathing waters.
Between 15th May and 30th September each year, samples are collected at each bathing water site, and analysed in a laboratory. The analysis looks at levels of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and intestinal enterococci (IE).
Results from a four-year rolling period then determine the classification for the next bathing water season; excellent, good, satisfactory or poor.
Last year, 99% of bathing waters passed the required standards, with 80% meeting the ‘excellent’ criteria.
This year, two new additional bathing waters have been designated by Welsh Government – Ogmore by Sea, Bridgend and Watch House Bay, Barry. The new designations are a result of a recent public consultation run by Welsh Government.
Clare Pillman, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales said:
“However you choose to use our bathing waters – for a cold morning swim, to paddle with children or an exhilarating surf – it is one of life’s great pleasures, good for the mind and the body.
“We are very proud of our record with bathing waters here in Wales, with 85 meeting excellent standard last year. This is testament to the hard work of our teams and our partners on both a local and national level to reduce pollution.
“We understand that now more than ever people are concerned about pollution. Protecting and improving our water quality is one of our top priorities, and we will continue to use our powers to drive further improvements and collaborate with partners to address the many water quality challenges.”
Information about where to find designated bathing waters, and the standard of bathing water is available on NRW’s website.
A full report on the results of the 2022 bathing water season was also published on the NRW website last month.