South West

This is the South West

The south west - renowned for beautiful beaches and rugged coastline.  South West Water are the local water and sewerage provider.

Lets see what's being done.


Bathing Water Quality

Throughout the summer, The Environment Agency of England and Wales collects detailed scientific data on the cleanliness of our bathing waters (mostly beaches). Weekly and annual compliance ratings are given for whether the standards are met or not.

Use this web site to search for a bathing water by name, county or postcode, or by browsing around the map.  You can then see the detailed data the agency has collected about that site.

Environment Agency bathing water quality data 


Beachlive is the South West information system that provides live updates on the potential risk to bathing water quality caused by overflows from the public sewerage network.  The service includes live feeds from 40 beaches and profiles for popular 45 Blue Flag beaches across the Region


Plymouth Diffuse Pollution Project

Clean safe bathing and river waters are amongst Plymouth's most precious resources.  Good water quality supports the economy and promote a better quality of life for local people.  However pollution from households and business premises continues to threaten water quality in and around the city.

The Plymouth Urban Diffuse Pollution Project is the result of an innovative collaboration between the Environment Agency, Plymouth City Council and South West Water which is focused on identifying misconnected properties.

Most of the hundreds of misconnections identified so far have been simple cases such as a washing machines inadvertently plumbed into the storm water drainage system instead of the foul sewer system.  Others however, have been more serious with entire properties misconnected into the foul sewer system.  There have even been drainage from commercial premises which have been entirely misconnected.


Is your home connected right?

This is the question that South West Water is asking their customers as well as helping property owners and professionals to check drainage connections and take action.  Investigations by the Environment Agency and South West Water have identified that one of the significant sources of faecal pollution to some of the bathing waters in the South West is misconnections.

South West Water’s Head of Waste Water, Richard Gilpin, said: “South West Water works closely with the Environment Agency and local authorities to help identify properties wrongly connected to the surface water drainage system in our service area.  As well as working with the EA and Plymouth City Council we have also recently carried out similar projects in Uplyme, Lyme Regis, Newton Abbot, Torbay, Bude, Falmouth and Truro.

“By ensuring these wrongly connecting properties are connected right we have stopped thousands of litres of raw sewage flowing directly from homes and businesses into local rivers and onto beaches.

“Thanks to South West Water’s ongoing investment in bathing water quality, we have some of the cleanest beaches in Europe. You can play your part in ensuring they stay that way.”


Dorset's litter free coast

The Dorset and East Devon coast is very important for local people.  As well as providing residents with inspiring panoramas everyday, and being an integral part of many child’s summer holidays, the coast provides vital tourism trade for local businesses.  The Litter Free Coast and Sea campaign is all about maintaining a high bathing water quality and trying to eradicate litter at the source so that our beaches can continue to be enjoyed.  This is achieved by helping individuals understand how they can help improve and maintain bathing water quality, engaging individuals with their coastal areas, and showing people what they can do to keep their coast and sea litter free. 

Litter Free Coast and Sea has been involved with setting up Beach Champions at Bournemouth University, and distributing Fresher’s posters promoting proper disposal of litter at the beach.  They have also set up a BeachCare group in Lyme Regis and involved children and adults in a 'Love Lyme’s Beaches Day'.  Current projects include reducing dog fouling, and working with the fishing industry and food outlets to reduce coastal and marine litter.  Find out more about Litter Free Coast and Sea  , why we need it and how you can get involved or contact the campaign on 01305 224833.