South Shields, Roker and parts of Seaton Carew are among those meeting the excellent standard for bathing water in the North East.
Nineteen of the region's 34 waters have met the excellent standard, 11 are classified as good, three as sufficient and one as poor.
From this year, the method of assessing bathing water has changed. Now, compliance is based on the current and previous three years of sample data, which consists of 80 samples.
This is assessed against four new and stricter classifications of poor, sufficient, good and excellent. These samples are collected by the Environment Agency between May and September each year.
Northumbrian Water’s Wastewater Director, Richard Warneford, said: "Our £1 billion of investment over the last two decades is reflected in today’s results, which are in stark contrast to those in 2000, when only four of the bathing waters in the North East achieved the old guideline standard.
"Looking after the environment is at the heart of what we do. We are extremely proud of the contribution we have made to protect and improve our region’s stunning coastline through both investment and partnership working and we appreciate the significant impact that beaches have on tourism, the economy and the leisure industry.
"Partnership working is particularly important as diffuse pollution, which includes run off from roads and agricultural land, can also have a negative impact on bathing water quality."
Waters achieving the excellent standard are:
Druridge Bay North
Druridge Bay South
Tynemouth Long Sands North
Tynemouth Long Sands South
Tynemouth King Edwards Bay
Seaburn (Whitburn North)
Roker (Whitburn South)
Seaton Carew (North Gare).
Waters achieving the good standard are:
Seaton Carew (Centre)
Redcar Lifeboat Station
Marske Sands and Saltburn
Seaham Hall, Seaham and Seaton Carew (North) are classified as sufficient and Spittal is the only bathing water to be classified as poor.
Investigative work, due to be completed by 2017, will be carried out by Northumbrian Water to identify sources of pollution in Seaton Carew, Redcar and Marske.
Work has already taken place this year to increase storm water storage and reduce the amount of wastewater that spills into the sea at Seaham and Seaham Hall. A multi-million pound scheme has also been carried out to prevent wastewater from flowing into Skelton Beck and to increase storm water storage at Guisborough, both of which will improve Saltburn’s bathing water quality.