Worthing: New Bathing Water Sites Approved

Two stretches of Worthing’s sea are to get extra environmental protection after a campaign led by Worthing Borough Council with resident volunteers.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has approved the council’s applications to designate the sea off Goring Beach and Beach House Grounds as bathing waters. The designation means the seawater at both sites will be regularly tested for harmful bacteria – a move which will help the town achieve cleaner and healthier coastal waters.

From the start of the bathing season on Wednesday 15th May, the Environment Agency will monitor the water to identify sources of pollution and help hold those responsible to account.

Cllr Vicki Wells pictured with swimming group The Worthing Bluetits at Goring Beach

The council is committed to protecting its coastline and the many people that enjoy using it. The two new applications followed an unsuccessful attempt at Beach House in 2022.

Cllr Vicki Wells, Worthing’s cabinet member for the environment, said:

“I’m thrilled to hear that our applications to designate these two popular sections of Worthing shore have been approved by Defra.

“This has been a huge community effort, and I want to thank Worthing’s dedicated volunteers who gathered all the information and evidence needed for officers to make these applications. Together we spent 88 hours on the foreshore last summer counting swimmers to highlight the need for these designations.

“It’s essential that we have greater understanding of our water quality, including types and sources of pollution, so our coastal waters are as clean and safe as possible for residents, visitors and sealife.”

Greater Brighton Area, Worthing, 2018

In February, Defra announced that Worthing’s two sites had been included in the final list of 27 locations being reviewed for bathing water designation ahead of the summer.

The approval of Worthing’s applications means the town now has a total of three designated bathing waters, with the new locations supplementing the existing, centrally located Heene Road site. Testing for harmful bacteria, such as e.coli, will now cover 1.7 miles of Worthing’s 4.7 mile coastline between The Esplanade in the east and Sea Lane to the west of the borough.

While local authorities don’t have the power to directly regulate water companies such as Southern Water, the council hopes that the increased involvement of the Environment Agency will give an accurate picture of the types and sources of localised pollution. This will help identify those responsible and ensure they are held to account and address their failings.

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