Rivers and bathing waters
The quality of the aquatic environment in which we live is a top priority for South West Water. and we have invested billions of pounds over the last two decades ensuring that we protect and enhance the rivers and coastal waters of the region.
The long term transformation of bathing water quality in the South West is largely due to our £2.3 billion investment which has seen over 200 raw sewage discharges stopped and modern sewage treatment provided in over 40 major engineering projects.
The region can now boast some of the finest bathing waters and beaches in the whole of Europe, attracting record levels of tourists and investment in the region.
We are also committed to keep beach users informed about how our discharges affect bathing waters. You can get real-time bathing water alerts for your favourite beaches from our award-winning BeachLive website.
River water quality is the key focus of our Upstream Thinking Programme which is working with farmers and landowners to keep pollutants out of the rivers above our water treatment works. This work has the potential to benefit our rivers all the way down to the sea and also has benefits for water storage.
Downstream Thinking is aimed at preventing sewer flooding and pollution by building sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in towns and cities. The approach is also about working together with other agencies responsible for flooding to find whole catchment solutions to problem flooding areas.
Bathing waters in the South West of England have been transformed thanks to Clean Sweep. They are among the best in Europe and now in a step further we have launched Beach Live.
Revised Bathing Water Directive
The European Union's revised Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) came into force in March 2006 and replaces the current Bathing Water Directive (76/1160/EEC).
Clean Sweep - South West Water's £2 billion project to transform the region's bathing waters and sewerage network - is complete.
The rivers of the South West have seen important quality improvements in terms of waste water since 1989.