© Jack Versiani Holt

Water quality

Around 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and the oceans hold almost 97% of it! Water is essential for all life on our planet and we need to ensure that we protect it from pollution, which is bad for us and for wildlife.

We cleaned up our bathing waters

For more than 30 years we have collected information about the quality of bathing waters UK wide and ensured that this information is made available to everyone through our Good Beach Guide. By highlighting where beaches were too dirty for people to swim, we put pressure on governments and environmental regulators for better legislation to protect water quality and ensured that water companies invested in better sewage treatment.

This year we are proud to report that for the first time over 90% of UK beaches monitored for water quality are achieving Good or Excellent standards.

You can find out the water quality for over 600 UK beaches on our Good Beach Guide

We will continue to fight for even cleaner coastal waters

Whether you’re in the country, in the city, at home or on the beach your actions can have an impact on rivers, beaches and the sea – that’s why we’re making sure everybody knows their poos and don’t’s.

Our Wet Wipes Turn Nasty campaign is working to stop unnescesaary sewage blockages and pollution incidents, by ensuring that only products which meet water industry standards can be labelled as flushable.

We are part of the national Bathing Water Group, who work together to promote simple actions that everyone can take to look after our beaches – look out for our #binit4beaches campaigns on social media.

We work with a coalition of like minded NGOs, called Blueprint for Water, to develop solutions to the water issues facing England. Between now and September 2018, water companies in England and Wales will be drawing up plans for their investments between 2020 to 2025. The Blueprint for Water believe that nature should be at the heart of these plans and has developed a set of key priorities that we want to see reflected in these plans.

The laws that made our waters cleaner are from the EU – as we prepare to leave the EU we will hold our governments to maintaining these laws and continuing to improve them as new science and evidence comes to light.

Actions you can take

  1. Check out water quality before you head to the beach
  2. Find out about Blueprint for Water
  3. Only flush the 3Ps - meet the unflushables
  4. Make sure popular swimming beaches are protected
  5. Join the fight against the 'unflushables'

Did you know?…

MCS first launched the Good Beach Guide in 1987 as a book to highlight the woeful state of the UK’s bathing waters