SEATON Carew has lost its prestigious blue flag status after three failed water quality tests.
Recent bad weather conditions and torrential downpours have been blamed for the failed tests, resulting in a higher level of bacteria in the waters.
The Blue Flag is awarded to coastal destinations with the highest standards of water quality, cleanliness, safety, and environmental management.
Hartlepool Borough Council will now have to wait until next year at the earliest to regain the status and bosses say they are working closely with partner organisations to ensure that happens.
Chris Wenlock, the council’s parks and countryside officer, said: “It’s a real shame to lose the flag, it’s something we have held for many years.
“We have to look at the reasons.
“All of us will be familiar with the adverse weather and when we look at the detail of these tests which are carried out by the Environment Agency, the failed tests tie in very closely with the heavy rainfall we have had.”
Helen Bingham, campaigns manager for Keep Britain Tidy, which administers the award, added: “Seaton Carew is not the only place to lose the status this year and it is down to the weather that we have had.”