UK’s dirtiest beaches: take a look at the top 20 locations that score the lowest for water cleanliness
Beaches that are popular with holidaymakers have been ranked the lowest for water cleanliness with high counts of E.coli
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A recent study by rubbish removal company, Clear It Waste, has highlighted the beaches that swimmers should avoid after collecting data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The study examined over 400 beaches across the UK, looking at various factors including suspension due to sewage, the average Intestinal Enterococci count (E. faecalis) and the Escherichia coli count (E. coli) - with the study then determining an overall water cleanliness score out of ten.
The Wharfe at Cromwheel in Ilkley was found to be the UK’s dirtiest beach, scoring just 3.5/10 for overall water cleanliness.
The waters surrounding this beach have been impacted by an average E. faecalis count of 999 cfu/100ml, the highest of all UK waters analysed in the study.
E. faecali is a bacteria that indicates the contamination of faecal matter in water. It is typically found in the gut and bowels and symptoms include fever, nausea and vomiting.
E. coli is a bacteria indicating sewage or animal waste contamination, typically found in the intestines of humans and animals. If a person is exposed to it symptoms can include diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps.
Closely following the Wharfe at Cromwheel is Blackpool North beach which scored 4.85/10 for overall water cleanliness and had an average E. coli count of 39 cfu/100ml - the highest E. coli count of all Blackpool beaches.
In June the public were advised not to swim off the coast of Blackpool after raw sewage was released during a thunderstorm. A burst pipe meant untreated sewage, mixed with rainwater, was released.
As of today (Tuesday 29 August), Blackpool North beach still has a pollution risk incident alert on environment group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) interactive map which monitors water quality at over 450 river and coastal locations.
In third place is the popular beach of Weston Main beach in North Somerset, scoring 4.99/10 overall for water cleanliness and having high numbers of E. faecalis and E. coli counts in the water.
The amount of E. faecalis in the waters at Weston Main is over 60% higher than Weston-super-Mare Sand Bay - North Somerset’s second beach to make the top ten list.
On Tuesday (29 August) Weston Main is still declared a pollution risk according to SAS interactive map, and bathing is not advised at Weston-super-Mare Sand Bay due to poor annual classification.
Which UK beaches are the dirtiest?
Listed are the beaches that have been found to be the dirtiest according to Clear It Waste’s recent study.
- Wharfe at Cromwheel, Ilkley - Bradford. 3.5/10
- Blackpool North - Blackpool. 4.85/10
- Weston Main - North Somerset. 4.99/10
- Blackpool Central - Blackpool. 5.61/10
- Blackpool South - Blackpool. 5.62/10
- Dunster Beach - Somerset West and Taunton. 5.67/10
- St Annes North - Fylde. 6.2/10
- St Annes - Fylde. 6.27/10
- Weston-super-Mare Sand Bay - North Somerset. 6.28/10
- Heacham - King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. 6.55/10
- West Bay, Westgate - Thanet. 6.88/10
- Tynemouth Cullercoats - North Tyneside. 7.03/10
- Bridlington South Beach - East Riding of Yorkshire. 7.03/10
- Bognor Regis (Aldwick) - Arun. 7.07/10
- Southport - Sefton. 7.11/10
- Wolvercote Mill Stream - Oxford. 7.13/10
- Cleveleys - Wyre. 7.17/10
- Scarborough South Bay - Scarborough. 7.18/10
- Combe Martin - Combe Martin. 7.2/10
- Fleetwood - Wyre. 7.23/10