All 17 beaches in the South Hams district have met stringent new European standards for bathing water quality, with 10 of those rated as excellent.
The tough new standards set by the recent European Union's Bathing Water Directive, replace current water testing regulations first introduced in 1976. From November 2015, bathing waters are classified as either excellent, good, sufficient or poor, with the water quality standards for the new classifications being much higher than those of the original bathing waters standards.
The quality of water is monitored throughout the height of the bathing season, 1 May to 30 September.
Bathing water quality can be affected by many factors outside water companies’ control such as rainwater running off roads and roofs, run-off from agricultural land, sewage from privately owned treatment works and septic tanks, boats or even animals, such as dogs or seabirds on the beach.
Richard Gilpin, South West Water’s Head of Waste Recovery and Environmental Protection (Devon) said: “We have invested more than £2billion to improve bathing water quality across the region over the past 20 years. More recently, in 2014/15, South West Water invested a further £20million to deliver even cleaner seas at nine beaches in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall which were considered to be at risk of not meeting the new standards.
“This included a £7million scheme to deliver even cleaner seas for Mothecombe, which was which was successfully completed in time for the start of the 2015 official bathing water season, so we’re delighted that Mothecombe was rated sufficient this year.
“In addition, between 2015 and 2020 we will spend £463million on improving the region’s sewerage network and treatment works.
Please visit http://www.southhams.gov.uk/article/1985/Bathing-Water and scroll down to see what rating each beach received.