The 13 most polluted beaches in the UK

From sewage to oil and fuel spills, bathing sites in the UK have been contaminated hundreds of times since 2017.

Bathing spots across the UK have been polluted hundreds of times over the past five years with hazardous waste from oil, fuel and sewage contaminating the shores.

Figures released by the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs show that 338 pollution incidents have been recorded at bathing spots since 2017.

The Environment Agency monitors designated bathing spots to inform swimmers and other beachgoers about how clean and safe the water is. Pollution incidents are recorded when there is a risk of affecting the health of bathers.

There have been 23 bathing spot contamination incidents this year (as of April 14), including five oil or fuel spills. Last year, 126 incidents were recorded. The figures do not include pollution incidents at non-bathing sites, which include all rivers.

The findings came after it was Government disclosure (March 31) that water companies pumped sewage into UK waterways 372,000 times last year.

The most recent incident occurred on 14 April when Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire noted an issue of wastewater contamination, including wastewater from toilets, sinks and showers from homes and businesses. . The incident lasted three days.

While at Dovercourt in Essex, oil or fuel was identified on 15 March and made the area unsafe for swimming for two days.

Past incidents also include agricultural and animal waste, harmful chemicals and algae.

Whatever the cause, any type of pollution can be extremely harmful to humans and devastating to the environment.

Hereafter, we reveal the 13 beaches in the UK with the highest number of pollution incidents recorded since 2017.

Images are for illustrative purposes only. The 13 most polluted beaches in the UK


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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