The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) of the UK has launched its user-friendly clean beaches guide. The online guide includes an interactive map with photos and information on hundreds of beaches with the latest water quality data for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The water quality data is visually presented in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-navigate online guide.
The MCS guide includes all the test data - obtained once per week from May to September by the relevant government agencies - and 300 other beaches that are not tested for water quality.
MCS recommends beaches that have passed 100% of the European Mandatory water quality ity tests with at least 80% of the tests passing the European Guideline total and fecal coliform standard and a minimum of 90% of the tests passing the European Guideline fecal streptococci standard. To attain the highest grade, the beaches must also not have poorly treated continuous waste water discharge. The runoff from rain (official ‘wet weather waivers’) are ignored.
MCS also provides information on beaches with bad water quality where swimming is not advised because the water failed the European legal minimum water quality standard and less than 95% of the samples passed the European Mandatory standard. The water at these beaches suffer gross contamination by sewage on at least two occasions in the previous swim season. MCS advises against swimming and other immersion water sports.
Photo shows Port Eynon in Swansea on the Gower peninsula in Britain. The MCS guide describes this as a perfect family beach and an area of outstanding natural beauty with lifeguards, easy access to parking and shopping with a wide expanse of golden sand and rock pools to explore at low tide.