Bathing water quality

Water quality at designated bathing water sites is assessed by the Environment Agency.

Bathing water is affected by a number of different sources.

Fat or sanitary products flushed down drains can block the system meaning untreated sewage goes straight into the sea.

You can help by:

  • putting litter in the bin
  • picking up your dog’s excrement and disposing of it in the bin
  • thinking about what you’re flushing down the toilet and pouring down the sink
  • sign up to environmental campaigns and join local beach-cleaning events. 

The Environment Agency is responsible for monitoring the quality of bathing waters.

For every designated bathing water in England throughout the bathing season (15 May to 30 September), the agency monitors levels of the bacteria E.coli (Escherichia coli) and intestinal enterococci in the water.

Values can vary, depending on the weather, pollution from agricultural and urban sources and storm water overflows, amongst other factors.

The readings taken over the last four bathing seasons determine the annual classification for that water.

During the bathing season, Environment Agency officers take weekly samples within Cumberland.

You can look up details of designated bathing waters on the agency's Swimfo: Find a bathing water webpage.

For further information on our local designated bathing waters or those within the wider United Kingdom, visit:

GOV.UK: Bathing waters
Environment Agency: Open data source