A South Pembrokeshire beach has failed to achieve EC bathing water standards.

Amroth was one of two of the 80 Welsh waters not to meet the the mandatory bacteria standards set in the current European Bathing Water Directive. The other was Aberdyfi.

But despite unfavourable weather conditions, most Welsh bathing waters have again maintained their high standards, with 86.25 per cent (69) achieving the highest EC standards, the Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson, announced yesterday (Thursday).

Beaches which complied with EC guideline standards locally were: Pendine East, Coppet Hall, Saundersfoot, Tenby North, Castle Beach, Tenby, Tenby South, Lydstep NorthBeach, Manorbier Beach, Freshwater East, Barafundle, Broadhaven South, West Angle, Dale, Marloes Sands, Broadhaven Central, Newgale Central, Caerfai Bay, Whitesands Central, Newport North, Poppit West.

Announcing the results of this year's monitoring of the quality of bathing waters along the Welsh coastline, the Minister said: "This year's results confirm that the many consistently excellent bathing waters on the Welsh coastline offer real opportunities for responsible recreation.

"It is testament to the general high quality of the bathing waters on our coastline that we should consider that two failures is a disappointing result.  Compliance with the current Bathing Waters Directive can be affected by heavy rainfall, and it seems likely that this has affected Amroth.

"I am pleased to announce that, despite the poor weather, the number of bathing waters meeting the EC's guideline standards, which are far more stringent than the mandatory standards, is the third highest ever recorded with 69 Welsh bathing waters (86.25 per cent) reaching the guideline standard. These are also the standards that beaches must meet to be eligible for a European Blue Flag.

"These results once again show the quality of the Welsh natural environment, which is an excellent resource for everyone in Wales and visitors to enjoy. The important work that is done to ensure the highest standards in bathing water supports the Welsh Assembly Government's commitment to improving countryside access. I am very keen to promote wider use of Wales' superb environment for responsible recreation."

Chris Mills, director, Environment Agency Wales, said: "Whilst many sources of pollution have now been tackled, our coastal waters can still be polluted by run off, particularly as a result of heavy rainfall. This year's particularly wet summer increased this type of pollution and has decreased slightly the quality of our bathing waters.

"With climate change such impacts could become increasingly common. We are actively investigating how these pollution sources can be tackled."