Natural Resources Wales is beginning its bathing water sample mission to ensure bathing waters across Wales are safe.

This initiative comes as families across Wales start planning their summer, with the samplers from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) set to ensure the quality of their bathing waters.

This year, there are 110 designated bathing waters that will be sampled multiple times between May 15 and September 30, in accordance with UK Bathing Water Regulations.

Of these, 109 are coastal waters, with one inland lake, Llyn Padarn.

Following a successful application, Nefyn Beach in Gwynedd was added to the list of designations last month, as announced by the Welsh Government.

The samples will be sent to NRW’s laboratory in Swansea to test for levels of E. coli and intestinal enterococci (IE).

The results from a four-year rolling period will then define the classification for the next bathing water season as either excellent, good, satisfactory or poor.

Last year, under the same parameters, 98 per cent of Wales's designated bathing waters met stringent environmental standards, with 80 out of 109 meeting the 'excellent' criteria.

Chief executive of NRW, Clare Pillman said: "More and more people are enjoying the benefits of open water swimming, and where better to take a dip than at one of the many fantastic bathing waters Wales has to offer.

"Our blue waters offer a wealth of recreation opportunities, providing a vital boost to Wales’ tourism sector and the health and well-being of our communities."

She also discussed the threat of pollution, stating: "Our teams continue to work hard to tackle the many sources of pollution which threaten our water quality, including from agriculture and storm overflows.

"Much progress is being made, and we are pressing for record levels of water company investment for the environment in the coming years to safeguard the future health of our waters."

Prior to the start of the traditional bathing water season, NRW officers initiate a number of pre-season checks including verifying that permit conditions for nearby discharges are being complied with.

Any revealed matters or deteriorations are scrutinised by teams in a bid to identify sources of pollution contributing to high bacteria levels in samples.

Information about designated bathing waters and the standard of bathing water is available on NRW’s website.

Plus, the Adventure Smart website provides details on swimming safely in open waters.