England’s bathing waters are the cleanest ever recorded thanks to a dry summer, tighter EU regulations and increased spending by water companies.

Of the 413 beaches monitored up to 20 times a year by the Environment Agency for their pollution, 98.5% passed the minimum EU limit. Of these, 69% were rated “excellent” and 27% “good”. Water at five persistently failing beaches met the minimum standard for the first time, but six beaches failed.

However, bathing water in Scotland was notably more polluted than in England. According to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, 17 beaches out of the 84 monitored had an “excellent” classification, 38 were “good” but 17 failed.

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