Five new bathing water sites in Devon

It’s not been the best few months of news when it comes to swimming water in the South West, but while polluted beaches have been in the media (both Cornwall and Somerset received “brown flag” awards due to their dirtiness), five locations on the Rivers Dart and Erme are now designated bathing water sites. 

What is a bathing water site? 

A bathing water site, is quite simply, somewhere where the bathing water is sufficiently clean for swimming and is used by the community. 

How have these sites been designated? 

After an 18-month community campaign by Friends Of The Dart and Wild About The Erme River, the sites were given the bathing water site status. 

These sites in particular have been recognised by Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and they will be monitored for pollution by the Environment Agency from May 15th to September 30th.

Defra will ensure that they stay clean, and South West Water has said they support the designations and will work on improving water quality where needed.

What are the regulations for bathing water sites? 

Bathing water status requires weekly testing for harmful bacteria during the bathing season.

The results will classify water quality and pressure South West Water to reduce sewage spills.

What are the bathing water sites? 

The bathing water sites are: 

  • Totnes (Steamer Quay)
  • Dittisham (The Ham)
  • Stoke Gabriel (creek)
  • Warfleet Dartmouth.
  • Coastguards Beach (this is the only location on the River Erme)

So, if you’re looking for somewhere with safe, clean waters to bathe in this summer, consider these settings on the Rivers Erme and Dart!

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