In 2015, 97% of England’s bathing waters passed new, more stringent minimum standards set by the European Union. In total, 63.6% of bathing waters meet the new Excellent standard. The results are highlighted in a 2015 compliance report released on November 5, 2015.

The UK’s bathing waters have continually improved since 1990 when just 27% met strict water quality standards. As the country’s bathing water quality improves, European Union standards also are increasingly strict.

The results are based on samples taken by the UK’s Environment Agency over the last 4 years. Information about each beach is available on the Bathing Water Explorer website.

The Environment Agency closely monitors the quality of UK bathing waters and carries out regular testing and inspections. They also work closely with local partners and others to identify pollution sources and take action to protect and improve bathing water quality across the country. Such measures include upgrading sewerage infrastructure, filtering pollution through ponds with floating treatment wetlands, installing dog litter bins, farming campaigns, and fencing off streams on ranches.