Bathing and inland waters

Bathing and inland waters 

Beaches along the 560km coastline we serve are of exceptional quality and among the best in Europe. River swimming is also increasing in popularity across the country.

To help protect water quality and ensure high standards are maintained, wastewater and stormwater discharges from our sewerage network and water recycling centres (sewage treatment works) are managed carefully by us.

However, there are a wide range of factors that affect the cleanliness of beaches, bathing waters and rivers, including agricultural and urban run-off.

You can use the map to check bathing waters and other popular swimming locations for recent storm overflows that might affect the bathing water.

Open map

Coast and rivers watch

Coast and rivers watch is our online overflow notification system which provides near real-time information of when storm overflows (CSOs) have operated at designated bathing waters and other water bodies used regularly for recreation.

Designed with input from local councils, Surfers Against Sewage and the Environment Agency, Coast and rivers watch enables us to report on overflows potentially affecting 27 designated bathing waters. A further 21 designated bathing waters are not affected by CSOs and these are clearly identified. Additionally, the system reports on overflows potentially affecting 13 other recreational waters.

The Environment Agency provides warnings of periods of wet weather that may lead to lower water quality at selected bathing waters - find out about current warnings.

Storm Overflows

Discover the role storm overflows play in keeping areas flood free.

Warleigh Weir

Warleigh Weir, a location along the River Avon near Bath, is visited by people who use the stretch of river for recreation, including swimming.

Wild water swimming - what you need to know

It’s important for wild swimming enthusiasts to know that there are a number of factors that affect river water quality. Find what you need to know.