Rivers and bathing waters

The quality of the aquatic environment in which we live is a top priority for us. We’ve 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 our region 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.

As a result our region can now boast some of the finest bathing waters and beaches in the whole of Europe, attracting record levels of tourists and investment.

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.

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