Roker Beach has lost its Blue Flag status after high levels of bacteria were found in recent water samples.
It comes just months after the beach was awarded the coveted status by Keep Britain Tidy.
Bacteria levels tested in three separate water samples were too high, resulting in the Environment Agency taking action.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The recent unprecedented wet weather has meant that all sorts of pollutants from all sorts of sources have been washed down to the sea.
“We hope that a change in the weather will see an improvement in the water quality.”
Environmental campaigner Malcolm Hooper said: “We are not very happy with the beach in this area.
"The sewerage system is just too small, and it will keep spilling out whether it is raining or not.”
Councillor John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Sunderland City Council said: "We are obviously disappointed that Roker has temporarily lost Blue Flag status, but are determined to work hard to regain it as soon as is practically possible.
"We still retain Quality Coast accreditation at both Roker and Seaburn, however, and the bathing water quality of all our beaches remains fine to swim or paddle in.
"The results of the water tests that led to the temporary removal of Blue Flag status were affected by the higher than usual levels of rainwater recently.
"Sunderland City Council has no control over the surface water draining from the land into rivers and seas after extreme rainfall, and storm water also bypasses the sewer system in flood conditions which has a significantly detrimental effect on water samples.
"All our resort beaches more than meet the other criteria of Blue Flag status which is beach management and public information, and we hope that the thousands of residents and visitors who annually enjoy the beach and leisure amenities at Roker will continue to do so."
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