Bathing season begins!

Bathing season


Whether you prefer a quick dip in the sea or a long walk on a sunny beach, living and working by the coast can be great fun.

We’re dedicated to playing our part in keeping beaches clean for everyone to enjoy, so we’ve spent more than £32 million on improving our local bathing waters in the past five years, including major programmes in Worthing, Sussex and Shanklin, Isle of Wight.

Cleaner than ever

Bathing season officially begins on Sunday, and the great news is, bathing waters along our region’s 700 miles of coastline – which cover Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – have never been cleaner in recent times.

From Sunday until 30 September, the Environment Agency will take regular seawater samples at each of the 83 designated bathing waters in our region to check its quality.

In 2021, results showed that swimmers enjoyed ‘Excellent’ water quality at 60 of our region’s 83 beaches and ‘Good’ water quality at a further 20 beaches. For the fourth year now, none were rated ‘Poor’. This is thanks to work with councils, partners, regulators and charities. And of course, all of us visiting the beach can play our part by taking rubbish home, not feeding the birds and picking up dog poo.

What else are we doing?

While we’re really proud of our contribution towards 80 of 83 of the bathing waters in our region being rated as good or excellent, we know there’s more we need to do to improve the health of our rivers and seas.

Our Storm Water Taskforce is working on five projects across Hampshire, Kent and the Isle of Wight focusing on programmes like water gardens and reducing rain runoff from roofs and roads. The taskforce has built awareness of the challenges and the fact that we can’t do it alone.

We need to work in partnership with our customers, councils, developers, NGOs and regulators to drive a significant change.  

Identifying and correcting misconnections

Our Misconnections Team hunts down cases where loos and dishwashers have been wrongly connected into surface water-only drains. Just one wrong connection can lead thousands of litres into the nearest river or beach.

Since it was set up in 2019, the team have stopped more than 4 million litres of wastewater getting into the environment due to misconnections.

We all have a part to play

We can all work together to keep our coastline clean. Keeping our beaches beautiful helps marine life living there, and means we can all enjoy our coastline. All year round.