Even cleaner seas

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We have invested more than £2billion to transform bathing water quality across the region over the past 20 years.

In 2014/15 we spent an additional £20 million on a range of schemes to further improve bathing water quality at Lyme Regis, Teignmouth, Torbay, Mothecombe, Seaton (Cornwall), Looe and Combe Martin.

This was in preparation for the European Union's revised bathing water directive, which came into effect in 2015. There's more information here on the revised Bathing Water Directive.

Click on the links below to find out more. 

Combe Martin

A £2million scheme to deliver even cleaner seas off Combe Martin, which started in September 2014, has been successfully completed in time for the start of the official bathing water season.

To improve bathing water quality at Combe Martin, we have constructed a 325 cubic metre underground storage tank in the parish council coach park and a 300 cubic metre underground storage tank in the Glen Lyn car park.

The additional storm water storage capacity in the sewerage network and other improvements will reduce the number of storm discharges into the River Umber during extremely wet weather.

Senior Project Manager Mike Court said: "In total, the work represents a £2million investment in bathing water quality in the area, which will benefit the tourism industry in Combe Martin.

"We believe that, with the help of the local community, this major investment will help deliver even cleaner seas for Combe Martin, in time for the new European bathing water standards.

"The Combe Martin Clean Bathing Water Group and the Environment Agency are also working hard to improve bathing water quality.

"You can help by checking your property is correctly connected to the foul drainage system - investigations by the Environment Agency and South West Water have identified that homes with plumbing that is incorrectly connected into the surface water system are a source of faecal pollution to some of the bathing waters in the South West.

"Some drains lead directly to rivers and beaches, so please don't pour paints, oils or chemicals down them. Nappies, wipes, cotton buds, fat, oil and food waste can all block drains and cause pollution so please dispose of them correctly."

Even cleaner seas for Combe Martin

Lipson Vale, Plymouth

As part of an ongoing £28m investment to protect the bathing water quality around Plymouth, we will be upgrading the sewer network in Lipson Vale. 

Read more about upgrades in Lipson Vale here

Lyme Regis

A £500,000 scheme to deliver even cleaner seas off Lyme Regis was successfully completed in time for the start of the 2015 official bathing water season.

To improve bathing water quality at Lyme Regis, we have constructed an 86 cubic metre storm storage tank at Uplyme Sewage Treatment Works to reduce the number of storm discharges from our network during extremely wet weather.

Work started in October 2014 and was completed in March 2015.

The Environment Agency has identified a range of factors adversely affecting bathing water quality at Lyme Regis (Church) beach including urban drainage, agricultural run-off, dogs and birds (specifically pigeons). Improving South West Water's infrastructure is only part of the solution - all factors need to be addressed if Lyme Regis (Church) is to reach the new 'sufficient' standard from 2015.

You can help by checking your property is correctly connected to the foul drainage system - investigations by the Environment Agency and South West Water have identified that homes with plumbing that is incorrectly connected into the surface water system are a source of faecal pollution to some of the bathing waters in the South West. Some drains lead directly to rivers and beaches, so please don't pour paints, oils or chemicals down them. Nappies, wipes, cotton buds, fat, oil and food waste can all block drains and cause pollution so please dispose of them correctly.

Even cleaner seas at Lyme Regis

South East Cornwall

A £4.8million scheme to deliver even cleaner seas off South East Cornwall was successfully completed in time for the start of the 2015 official bathing water season.

To improve bathing water quality at East Looe, we constructed a 1,040 cubic metre underground storage tank in the Lower Sungirt long stay car park in Liskeard and a 300 cubic metre underground storage tank on land adjacent to the A38 off New Road, Liskeard.

To improve bathing water quality at Seaton, the company made improvements to Menheniot Sewage Treatment Works, including installing ultraviolet (UV) disinfection and providing storm water storage capacity, as well as installing monitoring devices on the storm overflows in the village's sewerage network.

This additional storm water storage capacity will reduce the number of storm discharges during extremely wet weather.

Work started in Menheniot in April 2014 and was completed in January 2015. In Liskeard, work started in June 2014 and was completed in April 2015.

Senior Project Manager Mike Court said: "In total, the work represents a £4.8million investment in bathing water quality in the area, which will benefit the tourism industry across South East Cornwall.

"We believe that, with the help of the local community, this major investment will help deliver even cleaner seas for Seaton and East Looe, in time for the new European bathing water standards.

"You can help by checking your property is correctly connected to the foul drainage system - investigations by the Environment Agency and South West Water have identified that homes with plumbing that is incorrectly connected into the surface water system are a source of faecal pollution to some of the bathing waters in the South West. 

"Some drains lead directly to rivers and beaches, so please don't pour paints, oils or chemicals down them. Nappies, wipes, cotton buds, fat, oil and food waste can all block drains and cause pollution so please dispose of them correctly."

Even cleaner seas for Looe

Even Cleaner Seas for Seaton

South West Devon

A £7million scheme to deliver even cleaner seas off South West Devon was successfully completed in time for the start of the 2015 official bathing water season.

To improve bathing water quality at Mothecombe, we have made improvements to the sewerage network in Ivybridge, Ermington, Modbury and Holbeton.

This included increasing the storm storage capacity in the network to reduce the number of storm discharges to the River Erme during extremely wet weather.

Work started in June 2014 and was completed in March 2015.

Senior Project Manager Mike Court said: "We believe that, with the help of the local community, this major investment will ensure that the people of South West Devon continue to enjoy the benefits of top-quality bathing water for many years to come."

You can help by checking your property is correctly connected to the foul drainage system - investigations by the Environment Agency and South West Water have identified that homes with plumbing that is incorrectly connected into the surface water system are a source of faecal pollution to some of the bathing waters in the South West. Some drains lead directly to rivers and beaches, so please don't pour paints, oils or chemicals down them. Nappies, wipes, cotton buds, fat, oil and food waste can all block drains and cause pollution so please dispose of them correctly. 

Even cleaner seas for South West Devon

Teignmouth

A £671,000 scheme to deliver even cleaner seas off Teignmouth, which started in November 2014, has been successfully completed in time for the start of the official bathing water season. Emergency repairs to the damaged Eastcliff outfall pipe have also been finished.

To improve bathing water quality at Teignmouth Town beach, we have constructed a 500 cubic metre underground storage tank in Teignmouth station car park.

The additional storm water storage capacity will reduce the number of storm discharges from the sewerage network during extremely wet weather.

Senior Project Manager Mike Court said: "We believe that, with the help of the local community, this major investment will help deliver even cleaner seas for Teignmouth, in time for the new European bathing water standards."

Teignbridge District Council, together with South West Water and partners the Environment Agency, Teignmouth Town Council, Teignmouth Harbour Commission and the Teignmouth and Dawlish Town Centre Development Manager are leading a Love Your Beach campaign to encourage everyone to do their bit to help to prevent pollution. 

Teignbridge District Council's Resorts Manager Sarah Leech said: "Teignbridge welcomes the investment from South West Water. This will significantly reduce the number of times that the overflow should discharge into the sea and in turn help Teignmouth Town beach achieve a 'sufficient' rating under new EU bathing water standards.

"However, we also need the people of Teignmouth to contribute by doing other really simple things like picking up after their dog and not feeding seagulls or pigeons - things which can also contribute to beach pollution.

"Residents, traders and visitors have been really supportive of the Love Your Beach campaign and we'd urge them to keep up the good work."

For more information see www.teignbridge.gov.uk/beachesandresorts. 

Even cleaner seas for Teignmouth

Torbay

A £5million scheme to deliver even cleaner seas off Torbay was successfully completed in time for the start of the 2015 official bathing water season.

To improve bathing water quality at Torbay, we have constructed a 2,000 cubic metre underground storm storage tank at Abbey Park, Torquay, and a 360 cubic metre underground storm storage tank at Cockington Lane pumping station.

Other improvements included a seven cubic metre underground storm storage tank at Churscombe Cross sewage pumping station, Marldon, and improvements to Old Mill Road, Littlegate Road (Paignton) and Fleet Street combined sewer overflows.

The extra capacity and the other improvements will mean fewer discharges from our network during extremely wet weather.

Work started in April 2014 and finished in May 2015.

Senior Project Manager Mike Court said: "We believe that, with the help of the local community, this major investment will ensure that the people of Torbay continue to enjoy the benefits of top-quality bathing water for many years to come."

You can help by checking your property is correctly connected to the foul drainage system - investigations by the Environment Agency and South West Water have identified that homes with plumbing that is incorrectly connected into the surface water system are a source of faecal pollution to some of the bathing waters in the South West. Some drains lead directly to rivers and beaches, so please don't pour paints, oils or chemicals down them. Nappies, wipes, cotton buds, fat, oil and food waste can all block drains and cause pollution so please dispose of them correctly. 

Even cleaner seas for Torbay