Interactive Map: Norfolk beaches pass water quality tests

Great Yarmouth, Britannia Pier & Theatre / Central Beach. Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth, Britannia Pier & Theatre / Central Beach. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2010

All of Norfolk's beaches have passed stringent water quality tests, despite one of the wettest summers on record.

Nationwide, the heavy rain experienced in 2012 has led to a significant fall in the number of UK beaches achieving 'recommended' - the top standard - for their excellent water quality in the 2013 Good Beach Guide.

But our region fared better with 11 out of 14 beaches in Norfolk and five out of six in Suffolk being 'recommended' in the guide.

The standard below 'recommended' is 'guideline' followed by 'mandatory' and then 'fail'.

Among the Norfolk beaches achieving 'recommended' were Gorleston, Great Yarmouth South and Pier, Caister Point, Hemsby, Sea Palling, Mundesley, Cromer, East Runton, Sheringham, and Wells.

In Suffolk, Southwold The Pier, which rose from 'mandatory', and Lowestoft South and North of Claremont Pier, were among those 'recommended'.

Yarmouth North dropped from 'recommended' to 'mandatory' and Southwold The Denes remained 'mandatory'.

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The guide is produced by the Marine Conservation Society, which 'recommended' only 403 of the 754 UK beaches assessed for their water quality in 2012, 113 fewer beaches than in the previous guide.

A total of 42 beaches failed to meet the minimum EU levels expected for bathing water in testing last year, a rise of 17 on 2011's figures.

The society said the fall in water quality was down to one of the wettest summers on record last year.

The rain and flooding led to an increase in bacteria and viruses in bathing water, coming from a variety of sources such as agricultural and urban run-off, storm waters, plumbing misconnections, septic tanks and dog waste.

MCS coastal pollution officer Rachel Wyatt said: 'We have recommended fewer beaches in every English region and in Wales and Scotland. In England, the north west and south west were particularly badly hit with the fewest number of recommended beaches for at least a decade.'

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