A CLACTON beach has been deemed unsafe for swimming after the water quality was branded as 'poor' in an annual report.

After studying the water quality at 420 coastal spots over the warmer months, The Environment Agency found 92 per cent of all beaches passed the test.

But the water at Clacton Groyne 41, was found to be below par, with 20 samples taken between May and September this year.

The beach is one of ten across the country which failed to make the grade.

The agency advised people to stay out of the water at the Clacton beach, which has failed the tests every year since 2015.

Tendring Council is working with the agency, Anglian Water and Clacton Pier to tackle the problem.

The cause remains a mystery.

A council spokesman said Clacton, and the wider district, have a number of top quality beaches – with seven given Seaside Awards, including two Blue Flags, this year.

He added: “Clacton has a number of first-class beaches and bathing spots, and is a popular destination for residents and visitors alike, but the council is not resting on its laurels.

“The issues around Groyne 41 are contained to a very small area, and just a few hundred yards along the beach the water quality is rated as excellent.

“Investigation work on the causes of the poor water quality around Groyne 41, carried out by ourselves and partners including the Environment Agency and Anglia Water, have been ongoing for some time now.

“However, although the experts including microbiologists have yet to determine the cause, work is still ongoing and we are hopeful a solution will be found.”

The Environment Agency has rated water quality at Dovercourt, Holland, east Clacton and Brightlingsea as ‘excellent’.

Beaches in Walton, Frinton, Jaywick and Clacton’s Martello Bay were graded as ‘good'.

The agency tests water quality at every official bathing water to ensure it is maintained and improved.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: "Seaside tourism is worth over £7 billion to the economy and good water quality is essential for people to visit and enjoy our beautiful beaches.

"The Environment Agency's hard work has helped 388 beaches achieve the top Excellent or Good ratings this year and at beach cleans throughout the summer I've seen the commitment of local communities and campaigners to reduce pollution and protect our environment.

"Everyone can take small steps to help us protect water quality as we continue work with water companies, councils and local communities to maintain high bathing water standards."