Excellent! Our sea gets highest cleanliness award

We have some fantastic news to share today – the city’s sea water has been classed as ‘excellent’ for bathing.

Saltdean, Brighton Kemptown, Brighton Central and Hove – which cover the 13 kilometre (8 miles) stretch of the city’s beaches – have been given an A star rating for bathing water quality by the government’s Environment Agency.

The highest award possible

The agency’s inspectors took 20 water samples from the sea in these areas between 1 May to 30 September this year, and have given the highest award of three stars.

Cllr Anne Pissaridou, chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “This is really great news for everyone who uses the beach and the sea.

‘Clean and safe water for us all’ 

“We can all use the sea in the knowledge that we are bathing in clean, safe waters. It’s particularly reassuring for families with children.”    

The agency measures the sea for two main harmful water pollutants – E. Coli and Intestinal Enterococci bacteria, both of which can indicate the presence of human and animal faeces in the water.

In each of the four city areas, the samples showed the amount of bacteria in the sea was found to be virtually non-existent. The agency’s classifications are:

•    Three stars – Excellent: the highest, cleanest class

•    Two stars – Good: generally good water quality

•    One star – Sufficient: the water meets minimum standards

•    No star – Poor: the water has not met the new minimum standards and is not ‘sufficient’. 

Letter confirms ‘Excellent’ status

A letter from the agency to the council’s chief executive Geoff Raw states: “Today we are announcing the new bathing water classifications, based on monitoring data collected by the Environment Agency (EA) between 2016 and 2019. 

“Saltdean, Brighton Kemptown, Brighton Central and Hove have all been classified as Excellent and this will be the ‘current classification’ for the 2020 bathing season.”

Recent annual ratings – since 2016 - have been:

•    Hove, excellent every year

•    Brighton Central, excellent every year

•    Brighton Kemptown, excellent the last two years, good 2017 and 2016

•    Saltdean, excellent every year.

Cllr Pissaridou added: “This announcement will also be welcomed by the 11 million tourists who come to enjoy our city every year.

“With our 300 new recycling bins which we’re urging people to use, our beaches and sea should become even cleaner.”