Southend Bathing Water

Improving Southend Bathing Water

Improving Southend Bathing Water

Southend beaches are popular for swimming with residents and tourists. Many local residents make a living out of the thousands of tourists that come to Southend for its beaches. It’s estimated that tourism brings £3 million to Southend every year. This why clean beaches and clean bathing water are essential for Southend.

The Thames Estuary Partnership is working with Environment Agency, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Anglian Water to promote good practice and pollution prevention with businesses, residents, fishermen and tourists.

New European Classification

Improving water quality at Southend-on-Sea’s beaches is a requirement of the revised, more stringent, EU Bathing Water Directive (rBWD). EU Bathing Waters are monitored for water quality under European wide standards known as the Bathing Water Directive designed to maintain water quality for the health and enjoyment of the people who use the beaches. Water samples are taken once a week during the bathing season by the Environment Agency and tested for bacteria. The weekly sample results are made available on the Environment Agency’s website and the overall compliance of the beach is calculated at the end of the bathing season.

Main causes of pollution

Misconnections to sewage systems – when your plumbing is not connected properly, untreated sewage is being pumped into the sea.This could be a problem in your property. Find out more here:
Putting things like fats, oils and greases down sinks, and sanitary waste and wipes (unflushables) down toilets can cause blockages which can lead to sewage flooding in homes and gardens, resulting in health risks, loss of business, environmental damage and higher customer bills. Nothing should go down your plughole other than dirty water and nothing down your toilet except human waste and toilet paper. There are easy solutions that you can apply at home, at school or in your business. Check out this video for more information:

You Poo Too


Improving Southend Bathing Water

The partnership undertook studies to investigate the main sources of pollution. They found that run-off from streets exacerbated by leakage from foul water connections is main the contributor. Anglian Water resolved these pollution sources by tracing and fixing the misconnections in the sewer system. Contaminated water now discharges correctly into the sewer instead of into the sea.

The partnership education campaigns including the Clean Seas Please and Anglian Water’s Keep it Clear are making a difference through community clean-ups at beaches and taylored information for schools and other local groups on how to keep the sea clean.

Find out more

If you would like to know more about this Southend Bathing Water project, please contact Project Manager Amy Pryor at