Hartlepool beaches set to pass tough new water quality tests

LIFE'S A BEACH: Seaton Carew is one of three beaches given the thumbs-up by the Environment Agency.
LIFE'S A BEACH: Seaton Carew is one of three beaches given the thumbs-up by the Environment Agency.

NORTH Gare beach is the place to take the plunge in Hartlepool.

The jewel in the town’s coastline is expected to get an ‘excellent’ rating for its water quality, despite the introduction of tough new tests,

The European standards will be twice as tough to pass as the existing requirement and the Environment Agency is urging water companies, businesses, farmers, local authorities and householders to do everything possible to improve bathing water quality.

Agency staff will be testing water quality throughout the summer, with the results made available through a new Bathing Water Explorer website.

Under the new standards, 18 beaches in the region are expected to be classed ‘excellent.’ Seaton Crew North and Centre beaches are both expected to be rated ‘sufficient.’

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “We acknowledge that ensuring the quality of the bathing waters off our beaches is vitally important, both in terms of public health and the value of the seaside to the local economy.

“We are pleased to note that the three designated bathing water beaches at Seaton Carew are all predicted to pass the Environment Agency tests – with an “excellent” rating projected for Seaton Carew North Gare.

“However, we are not complacent and we will continue to work closely with partners, including the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water, to protect the quality of our bathing waters and, where necessary, support further improvement.”

Environment Agency North East manager Julie Brooker said: “To have over half our beaches classed ‘excellent’ against the new tougher standards proves hard work is paying off.”