Bathing waters

Beaches along the 560km coastline we serve are of exceptional quality and among the best in Europe.

To help protect bathing water quality and ensure high standards are maintained, wastewater and stormwater discharges from our coastal sewerage network and water recycling centres (sewage treatment works) are carefully managed by us.

However, there are a wide range of factors that affect the cleanliness of beaches and bathing waters, including agricultural and urban run-off.


Coastwatch is our online overflow notification system which provides near real-time information of when combined sewer overflows (CSOs) have operated at designated bathing waters and at amenity waters used regularly for recreation.

Designed with input from local councils, Surfers Against Sewage and the Environment Agency, Coastwatch enables us to report on overflows potentially affecting 27 designated bathing waters. A further 21 designated bathing waters are not affected by CSOs and these are clearly identified. Additionally, the system reports on overflows potentially affecting 13 amenity waters.

The Environment Agency provides warnings of periods of wet weather that may lead to lower water quality at selected bathing waters - find out about current warnings.