• 87% of Scotland’s designated bathing waters meet strict environmental water quality standards.
• Water quality data available by 10.00 am every day during the season for 31 bathing water locations on www.bathingwaters.mobi, SEPA’s website, via Beachline and live electronic beach signage.
• Partnership projects underway to improve bathing waters including 11 rated as ‘poor’.
As Scotland sizzles in the early summer sun, and with hundreds of thousands of Scottish families and visitors expected to head to our stunning coastlines for the bathing season (1st June – 15th September), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has revealed that 75 of the country’s 86 designated bathing waters (87%) meet strict environmental standards for water quality.
Rating Number of bathing waters Percentage
Excellent 25 29
Good 34 39
Sufficient 16 19
Poor 11 13
OVERALL 86 100%
Ranked as the most beautiful country in the world by Rough Guide, Scotland’s natural environment is world-renowned. Its beaches range from remote, unspoilt Hebridean sands to golden stretches along northern and eastern coves and popular Western shores.
Beach users will have access to real time water quality information from across Scotland’s designated beaches thanks to SEPA scientists who sample and combine with state-of-the-art weather data to provide daily bathing water forecasts throughout the three and a half months. These are available at 31 bathing water locations by 10am every morning through:
• www.bathingwaters.mobi – SEPA’s mobile website
• http://apps.sepa.org.uk/bathingwaters/Predictions.aspx – SEPA’s website
• 08452 30 30 98 – SEPA’s Beachline
• Live electronic signs at 31 designated beach locations.
Terry A’Hearn, Chief Executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said:
“Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s stunning environment and we are committed to ensuring all of Scotland’s designated bathing waters meet water quality standards.
“Having achieved the highest rate of compliance since the new Bathing Water Directive began we are already seeing many of our priority projects having a positive impact. Both Nairn sites, which have passed for the first time since 2015, have made good progress through working with partners and communities to coordinate activities and identify actions to address water quality challenges.
“Working with partners, we’re continuing our focus on bathing waters rated as ‘poor’, with tailored improvement plans prepared by SEPA. These projects will result in major improvements to bathing water quality in the future and should see improvements over the coming season.”
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:
“Protecting and improving our bathing waters is crucial for our environment, for local economies which rely on beach tourism and for people who will be able to enjoy our seaside resorts and beaches over the summer months.
“Partnership working between SEPA, Scottish Water, local authorities, the farming sector, and communities is vital to achieving better results and I am pleased to see that this work has helped to drive forward improvements this season.”
A Scottish Water spokeswoman said:
“We are pleased to see the continued improvement in bathing water performance. Scottish Water has undertaken significant investment in partnership with SEPA in recent years to support bathing water quality.
“We are committed to delivering investment where our assets are found to be compromising quality. We continue to work with SEPA and a range of agencies, local authorities, beach users and other relevant organisations to improve bathing water quality where required.
“People can help by ensuring that they only flush the right things down toilets – the three Ps: pee, poo and paper – to avoid causing blockages to drains and sewers which can cause pollution on beaches.”
Solway (1 excellent, 2 good, 4 poor)
Brighouse Bay – Poor
Carrick – Good
Dhoon Bay- Poor
Mossyard – Good
Rockcliffe – Poor
Sandyhills – Poor
Southerness – Excellent