Covid-19 Coronavirus

Douglas Bathing Water Profile

Good bathing water qualityCurrent water quality classification is Good, based on weekly samples taken from 2019 to 2023.


Douglas beach is a sandy beach stretching 2 miles across the front of Douglas bay. Sampling is undertaken at Douglas Central which is located opposite the Best Western Palace Hotel Casino. The River Douglas discharges into Douglas Marina which leads to the sea at the southern end of the bay. 

At high tide the beach becomes submerged at Summerhill and by the war memorial. Douglas beach is backed by a promenade, which includes a walkway and a picnic area with plenty of benches offering excellent views across the bay and to the tower of refuge, a small tower on a rock outcrop out in the bay. 

Douglas beach is used all year round for dog walking, fitness, non-powered water sports and fishing. During the bathing season access to the beach for dogs is limited; please check the council signs for more information.  

The beach is used for various events throughout the bathing season including Douglas Carnival, Tower of Refuge walk and sand racing. 

There is easy parking along Douglas promenade and easy access to the beach. Public toilets are located at multiple points along the promenade. Douglas town centre is located nearby where you can find cafes, shops and restaurants. There are also cafes, pubs and restaurants positioned along the promenade. The tourist information centre is located in the Sea Terminal building where additional information on the Isle of Man and Douglas can be sourced.

Samples takenWeekly throughout the bathing season
2019 classification *Sufficient
2020 classification *Sufficient
2021 classification **Good
2022 classification **Good
2023 classification **Good
Local authority Douglas Borough Council
Water sampling point SC 387 769
QR Code Douglas QR

Water Quality Results 

See the help page for additional information on interpreting these charts.

Escherichia coli (EC)


Douglas - Water Quality sample results charts 2024 - Escherichia coli (EC)

2020 to 2023

Douglas - Water Quality sample results charts historic (2020-2023) - Escherichia coli (EC)

Intestinal Enterococci (IE)


Douglas - Water Quality sample results charts 2024 - Intestinal Enterococci (IE)

2020 to 2023

Douglas - Water Quality sample results charts historic (2020-2023) - Intestinal Enterococci (IE)

Catchment Description

Douglas catchment map

The catchment surrounding Douglas bay includes Douglas, Onchan and Union Mills and is approximately 15.14 km2. Surface water ad highway drains discharges into the bay and the River Douglas.

Pollution Risk Forecasts

This bathing water is subject to short term pollution. Short term pollution is caused when heavy rainfall or high tides wash faecal material into the sea from livestock, sewage and urban drainage via rivers and streams. At this site the risk of encountering reduced water quality increases after rainfall and typically returns to normal after 1-3 days.

Investigations Statement

The Environmental Protection Unit is not currently investigating any pollution incidents within this catchment. To report any water pollution; please call 01624 685885 or email

Pollution Management

It is the Environmental Protection Unit’s role to drive improvement of water quality at bathing waters that are at risk of failing higher standards. It is natural for water to run off the land to the sea. Water quality at a bathing water is dependent upon the type and area of land (the catchment) draining to the water and the activities undertaken in that catchment.

Stream and Rivers

Douglas streams and rivers

Streams and rivers are typically affected by human sewage, animal slurry and run off from roads.

Within the Douglas bay catchment there are 6 streams/rivers which discharge or lead to Douglas bay. The River Glass and the River Dhoo originate in the central valley and flow towards Douglas where they join with the Middle River to form the River Douglas; there are 19 routine monitoring points to assess the water quality of these rivers. Summerhill Glen and Port Jack Glen discharge directly into Douglas bay and are monitored twice a year.

The annual report on the routine water quality monitoring data is produced by the Environmental Protection Unit.

Any reports of pollution will be investigated by officers and water samples collected if necessary.

Working with Manx Utilities

Douglas - Manx Utilities

Douglas and Onchan are the most populated locations on the Isle of Man. The foul waste from these catchments is transported to the Meary Veg sewage treatment works via the IRIS network. There are various pumping stations located across the capital to transport the waste to the nearby sewage treatment works. There are a number of combined sewer overflows discharging into Douglas bay which may impact bathing water quality during heavy rainfall. Whey from the Island’s Creamery also discharges into the bay.

Working with Local Authorities

Surface water can flow into the sea from outfalls and highway drains. This can affect water quality, particularly after periods of rainfall.

Heavy rain falling on pavements and roads often flows into surface water drains or highway drains, ending up in local rivers and ultimately the sea. The quality of bathing water may be adversely affected because of such events.

Working with the farming community

During and after periods of heavy rainfall, run off from agricultural areas is greatly increased, and the quality of the bathing water may be adversely affected. The Environment Protection Unit are working with farmers to encourage better farming practices and improve water quality in the surrounding areas.

Back to top