Water quality has been rated as excellent at a number of beaches along the Essex Sunshine Coast – including two beaches which have improved on their previously ‘good’ rating.
The annual bathing water quality classification is published by the Environment Agency each November, and is based on testing carried out between May and September. The classification takes into account results from the past four years.
Beaches at Dovercourt, Brightlingsea and Holland-on-Sea have all maintained ‘Excellent’ ratings, the highest available – while Walton beach and the beach to the east of Clacton Pier have now been rated as excellent, up from ‘good’ the previous year.
Elsewhere in Tendring Jaywick Sands, Frinton and Clacton’s Martello beach were all rated as ‘Good’ for another year.
Meanwhile Groyne 41, which has had issues with poor water quality for a number of years despite multi-agency testing carried out in a bid to find the cause of contamination, has again been rated as ‘Poor’.
With the small section of beach having received the lowest classification for five years in a row, it will no longer be designated as a bathing beach.
Mike Carran, Head of Sport and Leisure at Tendring District Council, said the results showed why the Essex Sunshine Coast was so popular with residents and visitors.
“We work hard to maintain high quality beaches for Tendring residents and visitors to our district to enjoy,” Mr Carran.
“These are fantastic results, in particular at Walton and east Clacton which are now consistently ‘excellent’, opening the door for possible Blue Flag applications for these beaches.
“While disappointing that Groyne 41 has again rated as ‘poor’, this is not surprising – despite leading experts have been investigating this over a long of period of time, and the source is still to be identified. Having this small section of beach de-designated means we can move on and focus on keeping our top-notch beaches the best they can be.”