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Welsh Water proud to play its part in Wales' record Blue Flag success 2016

19/05/2016

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is proud to have played its part in helping Wales achieving a record number of Blue Flags awards, putting its beaches and marinas amongst the best in the UK and across the world.

The awards are the quality marks for our beaches and marinas and mean those visiting them can be sure that they are clean and safe and meet the highest environmental standards, as well the tough bathing water quality standards.

Commenting on Keep Wales Tidy’s announcement that Wales has achieved 47 Blue Flags, 26 Green Coast Awards, and 92 Seaside Awards, Steve Wilson, Welsh Water’s Director of Wastewater Services said:

“We’re delighted to see Wales retaining its position as having the best bathing waters in the UK. The results are also significant considering Wales has achieved over 30% of the UK’s Blue Flags on 15% of the British coastline. Proportionally, it also places Wales as the winner of the most Blue Flags in the UK.

“We are not responsible for directly managing our coastline and surrounding waters. However, we realise how important bathing waters are to the people that live and visit Wales and the significant contribution they make to the Welsh economy. It’s why we have, and will continue to play an active role to boost their appeal by investing in our wastewater network to improve bathing water quality.

“Where possible, we always try to enhance these valuable natural resources and have made huge strides over the past 20 years in treating the wastewater that comes from homes before it is returned to the environment. Since the 1990s, we have invested over £1 billion on upgrading or building new wastewater treatment works across the area we serve. Before this, most wastewater was pumped, untreated back into the sea, leaving coastal waters, including areas used for bathing, below the high standards we have now come to expect. Further investment is planned in the coming five years as part of our £1.7 billion investment programme, including £8 million on the largest ever in the biggest ever coastal modelling investigation undertaken in Wales.

“It should be pointed out that there are a number of factors that impact bathing water which are beyond our control, such as run off from agricultural and urban areas. We remain committed to working with organisations such as Natural Resources Wales, local authorities, Keep Wales Tidy, local stakeholders and Visit Wales who share our commitment to protect and further improve the quality of Wales’ bathing water.”

Notes to editors:

  • For 2016 a total of 44 beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag in Wales
  • For 2016 a total of 3 marinas have been awarded a Blue Flag in Wales
  • For 2016 a total of 26 beaches have been awarded the Green Coast Award in Wales
  • For 2016 a total of 92 beaches have been awarded a Seaside Award in Wales