NRW hoping for high scores for the fifth year in a row as bathing water sampling begins

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has begun its annual sampling on 107 designated bathing waters across Wales looking to test and rate each site on its water quality.

As we approach summer, samples will be taken from every designated site in Wales. These are then taken away, analysed in a specialist laboratory and assessed against set criteria.

These samples will be taken from 15 May to the 30 September and at the end of the season the results will be compiled for each bathing water and used to assess the water as ‘poor’, ‘sufficient’, ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. This will determine the classification for the next year.

Last year marked the fourth year in a row that Welsh bathing waters were 100% compliant, meaning no designated site scored less than a ‘Sufficient’ rating.

Clare Pillman, CEO of Natural Resources Wales, said:

“Monitoring the state of our water quality is a cornerstone of the work we do at NRW, and I’m pleased that this year’s season can get underway with fewer of the challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic than we’ve faced over the last couple of years.
“It was great news that we achieved 100% compliance again last year. And it showed how hard we and our partners have been working locally and on a national level to keep Wales’ bathing waters as clean as possible.
“However, there is no room for complacency, and we continue to work hard with partners to address areas of concern and challenge, and I hope that this year’s results will continue to reflect all the effort put in by the various teams that work across Wales to protect and improve our beaches and bathing waters.”

Last year’s results saw 85 bathing waters classed as ‘Excellent’, 14 ‘Good’ and 6 ‘Sufficient’, including improvements in classification for eight sites including Cemaes, Kinmel Bay and Nolton Haven.