There are currently 100 designated bathing waters in Wales, compared with 88 in 2011. Designated bathing water sites can be found at 99 of Wales’ beaches and at the Marine Lake in Rhyl.
Figures show that in 2012, 97% of Welsh designated bathing waters met mandatory standards and three quarters (75%) met more stringent European Guideline standards. This compares with 62% meeting the guidelines standards across England and Wales.
Commenting on this year’s results, the Environment Minister, John Griffiths, said:
“I am pleased that 97 bathing waters in Wales have met the mandatory standards this year, with 75 gaining the more stringent European Guideline standard.
"Bathing waters across the UK, including Wales have been affected by the unseasonal weather experienced this summer. This is set to be the third wettest summer on record for Wales. The heavy rains had a significant impact on our natural environment, including bathing waters and this is reflected in the results.
“The Welsh Government is taking action to deliver on things that make a difference to our communities, environment and economy now and in the future. The quality of bathing water plays an important role in us being able to enjoy our beautiful beaches and also for Wales to continue attracting visitors.”
Environment Agency Wales, Director, Chris Mills said:
“Bathing waters in Wales have improved dramatically over the last 20 years, but disappointingly, the results this year have been affected by the heavy rain this summer.
“Despite this record rainfall, water quality at three-quarters of our beaches have still managed to meet the highest European standards for cleanliness.
“These standards are set to become more stringent in the future, which is why we are investing our resources to trace the sources of pollution and continue to advise Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, farmers and homeowners on how they can help improve bathing waters in Wales.”