Bathing water quality in Arun is 'excellent', latest figures suggest

Bathing waters in Arun District were rated 'good' and 'excellent' in a study released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Three of the six bathing spots in Arun were rated 'excellent' by the DEFRA study, with the remaining three rated good.

Bathing water around Bognor Regis East, meanwhile, is said to have improved since the 2019 study, and is now rated 'good' by the central government department.

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The news comes as areas throughout the South East received their highest ever ratings in the DEFRA Bathing Water Summer Sampling Regime.

Southern Water have attracted controversy in the past for sewage incidents

"Swimmers can now enjoy ‘Excellent’ water quality at 59 out of the region’s 83 beaches compared with 58 last year. 21 are rated ‘Good’, 3 ‘Sufficient’ and - for the fourth year running - none are ‘Poor'," a Southern Water spokesperson said.

With major programmes in Worthing, Sussex, Shanklin and the Isle of Wight, the water company have invested more than £32 million on improving bathing water over the last five years.

Southern Water bathing manager Barry Woodham added: "The trend of improvement has continued again in 2021 thanks to the collaborative approach taken between councils, regulators, charities and Southern Water. 30 years ago only 41 per cent of beaches in the region met the ‘Sufficient’ standard.

"Southern Water has an important role as one of the custodians of the environment. There are a diverse range of pollutions which can impact water quality – contaminated rainwater running off roads and agricultural land, wastewater from privately owned treatment works, boats and animals on the beach such as dogs and seabirds all play a part”

The water company claims 'the need for improvement does not stop there.' It has also announced plans to invest £2 billion to improving the health of rivers and seas over the next five years, committing to cutting 80 per cent of pollution incidents by 2025 and 80 per cent of storm overflows by 2030.

All this comes after Southern Water were fined a record £90 million after deliberately pouring raw sewage into the sea. The water company has also garnered criticism from Sussex residents for