Bathing water at Bracklesham Bay and Selsey was awarded the classification by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) following monitoring by the Environment Agency (EA) between 2015 and 2018.

In addition, bathing water at West Wittering beach, which is privately managed by the West Wittering Estate, was also rated as excellent.

Selsey was previously classified as good, but a partnership project to improve bathing water quality led by Southern Water  and supported by Chichester District and Selsey Town councils is underway to achieve, and retain excellent bathing water status.

"This is wonderful news for residents and visitors and means people can enjoy the highest bathing water standards possible," says Councillor John Connor, Cabinet Member for Environment at Chichester District Council. "Selsey was selected as an area for improvement by Southern Water where excellent status could be achieved. As a result they are carrying out a huge amount of work including locating and removing any misconnected waste pipes which will affect water quality, increasing storage capacity in the foul network  and increasing the capacity at the pumping station near East Beach to reduce combined sewer overflows.

"As a council we have been helping by working to educate and improve communications around dog fouling and encouraging people not to litter the beach through our Against Litter campaign."

Date of release: 4 December 2018

Reference: 3857