Bathing water quality - LOVEmyBeach clean beaches campaign

Allerdale has a wonderful coastline and to keep them clean we support the LOVEmyBEACH campaign  - so the beaches can be enjoyed by residents and tourists alike.

During the bathing water season (15 May - 30 September) the Environment Agency checks the water quality at key locations called ‘bathing waters’ – designated stretches of water where people swim and paddle. 

In Allerdale there are three designated bathing water beaches – Allonby, Allonby South and Silloth.

In 2014 all bathing waters in the North West passed the required standards, however new European Bathing Water Directive standards have come into force which mean more stringent standards.  The new annual classification – Excellent, Good, Sufficient, Poor – is based on up to four years of sample results.   A ‘poor’ classification means the water doesn’t yet meet the new standards, and people are advised not to swim or paddle at that bathing water.

The 2016 classifications of bathing water beaches in Allerdale are:

  • Allonby   Poor
  • Allonby South   Sufficient
  • Silloth   Poor

Further information on the beaches and the work being carried out to improve the water quality can be found on the Environment Agency’s bathing water quality explorer (

Should I swim in a beach rated 'poor'?

You need to make your own decision whether or not to bathe as water quality is only one of the risks. Bathing water quality is generally high most of the time, even in waters that fail current standards. Check the LoveMyBeach website for the latest water sample results during the bathing water season May to September but remember water quality could be better or worse since the sample was taken. And the analysis of the water sample takes a few days so may not reflect the water quality on the day you visit.

Remember water quality is just one thing to consider when swimming. Tides, currents and other factors are also very important.

Pollution risk forecasting

We are also participating in the Environment Agency’s pollution risk forecasting system.  This is a separate forecast from the annual classification above.  Short term pollution is caused when heavy rainfall washes faecal material into the sea from livestock, sewage and urban drainage via rivers and streams.  The Environment Agency makes daily predictions based on rainfall patterns and will issue a pollution risk warning if heavy rainfall occurs to enable bathers to avoid periods of increased risk.  You can find out when these predictions are made by looking out for the signs on the beach or by accessing the Environment Agency’s bathing water quality explorer (

How can I help keep beaches clean?LOVEmyBeach

Bathing water is affected by a number of different sources including bacteria from excrement from farms and domestic animals.  Fat or sanitary products flushed down drains can block the drains meaning untreated sewage goes straight into the sea. Therefore you can help by

  • putting litter in the bin,
  • picking up your dog’s excrement and disposing of it in the bin
  • thinking about what you’re flushing down the toilet and pouring down the sink – keep it to “pee, poo and paper”
  • Sign up to the LOVEmyBEACH campaign and join local beach-cleaning events.

There's a wealth of information on the LOVEmyBEACH website including activities for kids and how local businesses can sign up to show their support.

See more about what you can do:

Carlisle City Council logo   Cumbria County Council

Copeland District Council logo   Eden District Council logo


Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ