Water Quality – Facts & Figures

The UK ranks just 25th out of 30 European countries for Bathing Water quality

(European Environment Agency, 2019)

There are 21,462 licensed sewer overflows across England and Wales, 89% of which discharge into rivers

(Environment Agency, 2020) and (WWF, 2019)

Only 14% of British rivers meet good environmental standards

(European Commission, 2000)

66% of Bathing Waters meet ‘excellent’ standards, suggesting that 34% of Bathing Waters in the UK need some form of improvement

(European Environment Agency, 2019)

Projected population figures suggest a 44% increase in sewage load in England and Wales since 1961 to 2039, equivalent to an extra 3 billion litres per day


Research by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) found that bathers in the UK remain just as likely to become ill from seawater as they were in the 1990s

(Leonard, A.F.C., R. Garside., O.C. Ukoumunne & W.H. Gaze,2020)

If no action is taken on antimicrobial resistance then by 2050, an estimated 10 million antimicrobial resistant bacteria related deaths will occur every year

(Dame Sally Davies, UK Special Envoy for Antimicrobial Resistance on BBC Radio 4’s “Costing the Earth” programme 2020)