Beaches pass test
For the second consecutive year, every beach in Sussex has met European standards on bathing water quality. This reflects the success of Southern Water's multi-million pound environmental improvement programme.
Twenty of the 25 beaches also gained Blue Flag status for their water quality. This is 20 times tougher to achieve than the "good" standard needed to pass annual tests.
Throughout the summer the Environment Agency sampled the bathing waters at Sussex beaches from Camber to Selsea.
The results of the weekly tests showed all the beaches met the European mandatory or "good" standard. This success compares with just 41 per cent of beaches meeting the same standard in 1988, when Southern Water began its programme to help improve the quality of sea water.
Across the Southern Water region of Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, all 78 beaches passed the Bathing Water Directive standards - with nearly 80 per cent meeting the Blue Flag standard.
John Spence, Southern Water's Wastewater and Environmental Strategy Manager, said: "The results show the benefits of our continuing treatment improvement programme that has vastly improved the quality of water we recycle off our 776 miles of coastline.
"Nearly eight out of 10 beaches in our region are achieving the quality necessary to qualify for a Blue Flag.
"But we must remember there are still many factors outside Southern Water's control which can affect bathing water quality; rainwater running off roads and streets, discharges from boats or even animals on the beach."
If bathing water meets the higher 'guideline' standard, it does not automatically mean it will receive a Blue Flag. There are more than 20 other criteria unconnected with water, including disabled access, educational information, provision of toilet facilities and lifeguards, which the beach must also meet.
Beaches tested in Sussex:
SUSSEX Camber Sands Pevensey Bay
Bexhill on Sea Hove
Birling Gap Seaford
Middleton on sea
Bognor Regis East
Eastbourne Wish Tower