This year’s bathing water quality results have been announced and Torbay’s beaches have met the highest European standard.

Throughout the bathing season, The Environment Agency collects detailed scientific data on the cleanliness of bathing waters. This data is then recorded weekly and annual compliance ratings are given. Of the 15 designated bathing waters in Torbay, 10 reached the excellent standard.

Torbay’s Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “I’m delighted to see Torbay achieve these excellent results for the 2014 bathing season. We must now continue to work with our partners to build on the high standards we have set so that communities across Torbay and beyond can continue to bathe in top quality water for years to come."

South West Water has invested more than £2billion to improve bathing water quality across the region over the past 20 years. That investment continues – in 2014/15 they are spending up to £20million on a range of schemes to further improve bathing water quality at key beaches including Torbay.

This work is being carried out in preparation for the more stringent standards of the European Union’s revised Bathing Water Directive, which comes into effect in 2015. This investment will be financed from South West Water's own resources and will not impact on the average household bill. South West Water is the only water company committed to this early investment.

As part of the compliance with the new European directive to provide public information on bathing water, Torbay will be introducing a new electronic sign providing up to date bathing water quality information. The sign provided by Defra will give the day’s quality prediction each morning during the bathing season.

Dr Stephen Bird, Chief Operating Officer, South West Water, said: “The work in Torbay is a £5million investment to increase storm water storage capacity in the sewerage network and to improve combined sewer overflows at key locations including Cockington Lane, Abbey Park, Fleet Street, Old Mill Road, Roundham Road and Beacon Hill in Torquay and Littlegate Road in Paignton. Work started in May 2014 and will be completed by March 2015.”

In the meantime, they are continuing to work on innovative and proactive ways of informing customers about bathing water quality, through the industry-leading Beach Live ( project.

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