The latest Good Beach Guide has just been released and a record number of beaches have been given the top award for water quality.

In 2011 461 beaches out of a total of 754 beaches were given excellent status; however this year 516 achieved the accolade.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has applauded the attempts of local authorities to clean up their act, but also warned that recent heavy rainfall could wash raw sewage from overflow pipes into bathing areas.

The results are taken from tests last summer which now show that 68% of beaches in the UK have been given the excellent award. More stringent European water quality rules come into force in 2015, so improvements in standards must still be made by local water authorities.

Rachel Wyatt, a costal pollution officer, was quoted as saying on the BBC that the water cpmpanies should not:

“take their collective feet off the pedal of continued environmental improvements”

“If that happens we could see a drop in the number of beaches recommended by us in the future, which could pose a risk to the great reputation British beaches have,”

The MCS are also calling for all sewer overflows to be monitored to ascertain accurate records as to find out how often and how much sewage is discharged.

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