Sea bathing water quality
These assessments are based on the EC Bathing Water Directive parameters for coliform organisms from weekly seawater sampling carried out by the Environment Agency. The sampling of Hastings and St Leonards sea water is carried out between the beginning of May until the end of September.
Current data for Hastings, St Leonards and surrounding beaches can be found on www.environment.data.gov.uk
Advice on test results is available from:
Southern Region Laboratory
4 The Meadows
Bathing water classifications
Each bathing water is given one of the following annual classifications:
- Excellent - the highest, cleanest class
- Good - generally good water quality
- Sufficient - the water meets the minimum standard
- Poor - the water has not met the minimum standard. Work is planned to improve bathing waters not yet reaching Sufficient.
If a bathing water is classified as Poor one year, a sign will be displayed the following year advising against bathing. The classifications for 2021 show that 1 per cent of bathing waters are classified as Poor. Everyone is working hard to improve the water quality at these locations. The signs do not mean that swimming is prohibited at Poor waters, but give information to help bathers decide whether to swim. Coastal and inland waters remain open for people to enjoy.
Even where the water quality meets the annual standards, sometimes it can be reduced temporarily, particularly after heavy rain, so between May and September bathers are advised to look out for information on the Environment Agency's Swimfo website or on signs at the beach that may advise against bathing. The Safer Seas and Rivers Service app from Surfers Against Sewage will also carry this advice.
High standards of bathing water quality are essential for people to visit and enjoy beaches and bathing waters and provide a vital boost to local tourism. It’s more important than ever that we work together to protect the quality of bathing waters and beaches so that everyone can enjoy blue spaces. And individual actions count - many people are not aware that actions in the home or when on staycation can have a damaging impact on water quality, like flushing wet wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products down the toilet which can result in blockages and overflows.
Checking water quality
Make checking water quality part of your routine when visiting a coastal or inland bathing water on the Environment Agency’s Swimfo website or download the Safer Seas and River Service mobile app from Surfers Against Sewage.
On the days when there is a problem with water quality Swimfo and Safer Seas and Rivers Service can warn you for free, and in real time, to ensure you and your family are making the most informed decisions about how, when and where you use a bathing water.
Sea bathing water quality