All but two of the North East’s 34 Bathing Waters have been rated as either “excellent” or “good.”
Every one of the region’s coastal sites passed the water quality standards, Defra announced.
A total of 25 of the bathing waters met the excellent standard, seven are classified as good, two as sufficient and none as poor.
This compares to 2000, when only four North East bathing waters achieved the standards in place at the time.
Compliance is based on the current and previous four years of sample data, from a maximum of 80 samples per beach, from 2014 to 2017.
The samples are taken by the Environment Agency between May and September to assess the bathing waters.
Richard Warneford, Northumbrian Water’s wastewater director, said: “Our two decades of investment has yielded significant benefits, and we are confident that by maintaining focus upon the North East coastline we can continue to drive improvements and make the region’s coast a beacon for excellent bathing water.
“Investment in improved storm water storage facilities throughout our network over the years and through our Rainwise initiative, where we remove surface water from our sewer network and divert it into the natural environment, will have contributed to these results.
“Today shows a massive improvement that we and all of our partners can be proud of.
“We place the environment at…