A NEW mobile app has been launched helping beach-goers and swimmers in Wales make informed decisions about where they dip their toes in the water.
The app, created by Natural Resources Wales, is free to download and will allow people to check how clean the water is before they take the plunge.
Andy Schofield, from Natural Resources Wales said: “With the summer holidays looming, families will already be planning trips to visit many of the wonderful beaches we have in Wales.
“We want people to be able to enjoy the Welsh seaside, safe in the knowledge that the waters they are swimming in are clean, and this app will make it easier for people to do that.
“We are lucky to have some of the best bathing waters in the UK, which draw in tourists and boosts our economy. Thanks to a lot of hard work over the years, and huge investment from water companies, our beaches are now cleaner than they’ve been in over 20 years.”
The launch comes as the 2014 bathing water season gets underway, and Natural Resources Wales teams swing into action to begin a programme of sampling to test the quality of the water.
Every year, specialist teams test each one of the 102 bathing waters 20 times during the season, which runs from 15 May to 30 September.
The samples are taken away, analysed in a laboratory and assessed against a strict criteria for bathing water. The information gathered this season, will then be used to grade bathing waters for next year.
Bathing waters for next year will be classified as ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘satisfactory’ or ‘poor’ under new European standards which are twice as tough as previous standards.
The new app, ‘bathing water quality’, is currently available for Android and is available to download from Google Play store. It will also be developed for Windows phone and IPhone.