Bathing Water Quality

Environment Agency monitoring of Bathing Water Quality

The Environment Agency is the statutory body responsible for monitoring bathing waters.

During the summer bathing season (May to September) it's Officers take weekly samples at three sites along the Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council coastline. There are three designated bathing beaches in our area. Walney: West Shore, Sandy Gap and Biggar Bank.

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Our bathing waters are rated EXCELLENT for water quality.

During or after periods of heavy rainfall run off from agricultural land and discharges from storm overflows can increase the risk of reduced water quality. High tides can wash animal faeces from Duddon Estuary salt marsh grazing land, reducing bathing water quality.

This bathing water often has patches of seaweed (microalgae) washed up on the beach.

This bathing water is subject to short term pollution. The Environment Agency makes daily pollution risk forecasts based on rainfall patterns. A pollution risk warning is issued if high tides occur to enable bathers to avoid periods when bathing water quality may be reduced. This may last between 5-7 days. Last year warnings were issued on 1 day.

The full details for this bathing water, its catchment, information on all potential pollution sources and how they are managed can be viewed at or scan the QR Code.

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Barrow Borough Council's Public Protection Services work in partnership with the Environment Agency, United Utilities, Natural England and Love My Beach in order to improve water quality and increase access to the beach.

Our bathing waters have improved in recent years from 'Sufficient' to 'Good' and now in 2022 all three have scored 'Excellent' and we are keen to ensure we maintain or improve on these high standards for all our bathing waters.