Today, Southern Water released the following press release highlighting the improvement of bathing waters in the South East:
'As you may be aware, results announced today by Defra show bathing water in the South East continues to be among the best in the country.Of the 83 designated bathing waters in our region, 79 were either "excellent" or "good". All 13 of Hampshire's bathing waters were either "excellent" or "good".
The results for 2016 are based on four years of weekly sample data taken by the Environment Agency and are available here. Bathing water quality is affected by a range of factors. We play an important role in supporting local authorities and the Environment Agency to ensure coastal waters are protected and continue to invest significantly on further improvements.
Most recently, this work includes our innovative Bathing Water Enhancement Programme to find and fix sources of pollution from a variety of sources which are preventing seven bathing waters in our region from achieving ‘excellent’ standard.
We have also joined forces with the Environment Agency on our Beauty of the Beach campaign to celebrate the coastline and encourage people to play their part in keeping beaches beautiful.'
Penny Mordaunt MP said, "I've been campaigning for cleaner water and a better harbour water quality for some time and welcome the news from Southern Water. It's a positive step that DEFRA have re-classified the bathing waters around Portsmouth from a rating of 'good' to 'excellent'.
It's a step in the right direction to ensuring we have cleaner water in our harbours to ensure the uninterrupted future of our fishing industry, which has suffered in recent years due to issues surrounding shellfish beds and water contaminants in the harbours around Portsmouth."