Our mission to protect and support local communities who use our rivers

Our region is already home to 150 designated coastal bathing waters. We now want to start extending that to river bathing waters.

This pilot plays an important research role into what river water quality is in these rivers, what affects it, what our own impacts on that quality are (from our assets like treatment works and storm overflows) and what our local communities have observed about the health of their rivers.

Using our rivers for fishing, swimming, water sports and cruises has been a long-standing tradition of those who live along their banks, and those who travel miles to visit these beautiful places. Their relationship to the rivers will be invaluable in developing our strategy for the designation of river bathing waters across the South West region. So, we're looking forward to working with partners and communities on our ambitious plan.


Group of people sitting round tables in a meeting room
Spring 2022

Community Engagement

We want to know how communities along the river use this water source. What activities they enjoy, what changes they've seen, and where they can see areas of improvement.

Local knowledge will be extremely important so we can build a picture of how, when and where people are using the rivers for recreational activities.

Close up of a hand using a laptop
Summer 2022 to Spring 2023

Monitoring and data collection

Monitoring the quality of the River Dart and River Tavy will help establish a baseline water quality that we can then work to improve where needed.

At this stage of the project, we're going to be installing river water quality monitors and storm overflow monitors down both rivers to start gathering that data. We will be trialling a variety of monitors as part of the pilot which will also provide us with valuable insight.

A few people standing and looking at a river
Winter 2023 into 2024

Reviewing and planning

After we've collected enough data, we'll review it in totality - combining a map of river
activities together with the data we gather from our water quality testing and monitors.

What we learn will help us to understand what impacts there are on river quality, at specific locations along the rivers and then to link this to where people like to use the river.

This will help us to target investment on our own impacts and to support changes in agricultural land use where an impact becomes clear.

River Dart
Spring 2025

Report on findings

We will complete our pilot by March 2025 and the lessons we learn will inform how we can achieve bathing water status in the Dart, Tavy and beyond.

If appropriate, we would support bathing water designations on the Dart and Tavy rivers.

Hello Lamp Post

We're asking all customers and visitors to engage in our 'Hello Lamp Post' campaign which aims to find out more about people's views on the river, and raise awareness of water quality. Text 'HELLO RIVER' to 07783 318182, or click below.

Hello Lamp Post image

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