The Solent Bathing Water Quality Award Scheme, administered by the Solent Forum on behalf of the Solent Water Quality Group, provides a simple and readily understood indicator of satisfactory water quality at bathing beaches.
It is based on long term water quality monitoring over the previous summer, and is based on a minimum of 16 samples – please see information below on short term pollution events. Please see our scheme details and results page for more information on individual beaches.
All beaches regularly used for bathing (private or Local Authority managed), non-designated as well as designated, can apply for an award under the scheme. Please contact the Solent Forum if you manage a beach or water body and would like to apply for an award, and we will include you in the next request for applications.
Please be aware of unplanned sewage overflows causing a pollution event. These can occur at any time and in particular if there has been heavy rain in the last 72 hours.
These events may result in water quality contaminated by faecal matter. The Southern Water Beachbuoy site shows if any local sewage overflow sites have recently spilled.
Sewage overflows may occur due to extreme rainfall or failures in the sewerage system. This can result in overflows even in dry conditions. In order to deal with increasing extreme rainfall and an aging system, major investment in the sewarage system is required.
There are a number of different initiatives that will help you find out more about short term pollution events:
Anyone can report a pollution incident to the EA 24-hour service:
Incident hotline:Telephone: 0800 80 70 60.