ALL coastal bathing waters in North-East and North Yorkshire have passed the water quality test with the exception of one of the region’s biggest tourist resorts - Scarborough.

Scarborough Bay South was one of seven beaches nationwide that failed to make the grade at all, according to an Environment Department (Defra) report.

Of 34 coastal sites in the Northumbria Water area, 25 met the excellent standard while seven were classified as good and two as “sufficient”.

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Compliance is based on the current and previous four years of sample data with samples taken by the Environment Agency between May and September each year.

Northumbrian Water’s wastewater director, Richard Warneford, said: “Our two decades of investment has yielded significant benefits, and we are confident that by maintaining focus upon the North-East coastline we can continue to drive improvements and make the region’s coast a beacon for excellent bathing water.

“Investment in improved storm water storage facilities throughout our network over the years and through our Rainwise initiative, where we remove surface water from our sewer network and divert it into the natural environment, will have contributed to these results.

“Back in 2000, only four North East bathing waters achieved the standards that were in place at the time, so today shows a massive improvement that we and all of our partners can be proud of.”

He added: “There is always work to be done to improve things further and we will not be complacent. For example, a team from North Tyneside Council, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water, is investigating what we can do better at Cullercoats. We are also funding an investigation into the quality of the eight Bathing Waters between Seaton Carew North and Marske to see what further improvements we can make.”

Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency said: “Maintaining such high water quality standards at English beaches is a huge success and a credit to all those individuals and organisations working hard to keep our bathing waters clean.”

Among the North-East bathing waters which have achieved the excellent’ standard are Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses North, Beadnell, Low Newton, Warkworth, Amble Links, Druridge Bay North, Druridge Bay South, Newbiggin South, Blyth South, Seaton Sluice, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth Longsands North, Tynemouth Longsands South, Tynemouth King Edwards Bay, South Shields, Seaburn (Whitburn North), Roker (Whitburn South), Seaham Hall, Seaham, Crimdon, Seaton Carew (Centre), Seaton Carew (North Gare), Marske Sands and Saltburn.

Those that have achieved the ‘good’ standard are Newbiggin North, Marsden, Seaton Carew (North), Redcar Coatham, Redcar Lifeboat Station, Redcar Granville and Redcar Stray. Spittal and Cullercoats are rated as ‘sufficient’ meaning all 34 of the region’s bathing waters pass the European standards.

Water quality at 18 of Yorkshire’s 19 bathing beaches has been rated as either good or excellent.

A Yorkshire Water spokesperson said: “As part of ongoing efforts to address poor water quality at Scarborough South Bay, a cutting-edge DNA profiling study on water samples was commissioned by the Environment Agency in 2016 to help identify the different sources of pollution.

“Data from the study shows that bacterial pollution in South Bay is from a mixture of sources, including humans, seabirds and dogs. Bacteria from industrial effluent may have an occasional impact on water quality, but not a continuous one.

The data suggests that no single factor is responsible for lowering the bathing water quality and that a number of different factors must be tackled to improve water quality. The Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership remains fully committed to ensuring that the bathing water quality at Scarborough South Bay improves significantly in the future.”