Most polluted beaches in England: 14 swimming spots with the worst oil and sewage pollution
From sewage to oil and fuel spills, bathing sites in England have been polluted hundreds of times since 2017.
Bathing spots across England have been polluted hundreds of times over the last five years with hazardous waste from oil, fuel and sewage contaminating shorelines.
Data published by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs shows 364 pollution incidents have been recorded at bathing spots since 2017.
Designated bathing sites are monitored by the Environment Agency to inform swimmers and other beach goers about how clean and safe the water is. Pollution incidents are recorded when there is a risk to bathers’ health.
There have been 49 bathing spot pollution incidents this year (up to 16 August), including 36 sewage incidents and 10 oil or fuel spills. Last year 126 incidents were recorded. The figures do not include pollution incidents at non-bathing sites, including all rivers.
The findings come as water companies come under increased pressure for reform after a summer of record breaking temperatures led to hosepipe bans in parts of the country.
Earlier this year it was also revealed by the Government (31 March) that water companies had pumped sewage into England’s waterways 372,000 times last year.
The most recent bathing spot incident came on 16 August when Towan in Cornwall recorded a sewage pollution problem, which includes waste water from toilets, sinks and showers from homes and businesses. The incident was ongoing at the time of writing.
While in Southport animal waste was identified and made the area unsafe for swimming for two days.
Previous incidents have also included agriculture and animal waste, chemicals and harmful algae.
Whatever the cause, any sort of pollution could be extremely harmful to people and devastating to the environment.
Here we reveal the 14 beaches in England which have had the greatest number of pollution incidents recorded since 2017.
Images are for illustrative purposes only.