Bathing Water Quality API

Open data from the Environment Agency

photo of people swimming in sea in Cornwall

The Environment Agency collects water quality data each year from May to September, to ensure that designated bathing water sites on the coast and inland are safe and clean for swimming and other activities. We are happy to make this data reusable and accessible to developers and to members of the public, by publishing it as linked data.

Changes in 2015

2015 is the first year of a new directive that aims to improve our bathing waters even more. Designated bathing waters in England now have tougher water quality targets to achieve; the new standards are approximately twice as strict.

To coincide with this change we have updated our Bathing Water Data Explorer and Bathing Water Widget Designer, which we set up several years ago to display data collected for the previous regime. The updated applications now show information using the new assessment regime, and several other new management provisions. In addition, Welsh data is now being provided through Natural Resource Wales (see below).

Other key changes include:

  • official classifications are now only based on four-year rolling averages and are issued annually; weekly classifications are no longer assigned
  • weekly sample readings are available, and may give a general indication of acceptable water quality
  • step changes, where major infrastructure investments result in improved water quality, are listed in the data
  • the water quality overview allows a custom view to be designed which lists the current water quality status in a collection of bathing waters

Welsh bathing water quality data

From 2015 onwards, water quality data for bathing waters in Wales will be provided by Natural Resources Wales. NRW remain committed to providing water quality information as open linked data, through their own water quality profiles, bathing water widgets and bathing water API.

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Applications using this data

Documentation describing the dataset and API endpoints

Direct access to the data via SPARQL

Licence terms

This dataset is published under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

More information

For further information from the Environment Agency about linked data, please contact us by email: or follow @DataEnvAgency on Twitter.

For more information about the Environment Agency itself , please see

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