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Bathing water quality

Our coastal waters are hugely improved by large and expensive treatment schemes. We monitor water quality to protect public health using standards set in an European Directive.

The standards protect public health but recognise that sea water is a natural variable environment. Bad weather will result in higher numbers of bacteria.

Gower beaches easily pass the EU standards but Swansea Bay is a little more complex. Swansea Bay cannot be improved much more by expensive engineering. We use the EU standards to help predict the water quality in Swansea Bay and inform the public.

Bathing water quality in Swansea Bay

At Swansea Bay a unique model was developed as part of an EU funded project, Smart Coasts Sustainable Communities Project that predicts water quality at the designated sample point (opposite The Guildhall).

The model runs every hour and the prediction message is updated on the electronic sign and Twitter (follow us @SwanseaBayWater (opens new window)) every hour, every day between 8.00am - 8.00pm during the Bathing Water season.

The message informs the public if the water quality is predicted to be good or poor so an informed decision can be made about whether to swim.

Bathing water quality at other beaches including Gower

Natural Resources Wales collects detailed scientific data on the cleanliness of our bathing waters (mostly beaches) every year between May and September. Detailed reports are available for bathing water quality data on the Natural Resources Wales website (opens new window).

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Last modified on 10 May 2023