Water Pollution and Rivers

A team of TLG volunteers started monitoring the River Lim in the autumn of 2021 after concerns were raised about pollution. TLG is co-ordinating the project with the guidance of the Westcountry Rivers Trust which aims to restore and protect the rivers, lakes, and estuaries of the West Country for the benefit of nature, people, and local economies.

Local residents in Lyme Regis and Uplyme got increasingly concerned over the summer of 2021 as permanent signs went up warning of pollution in areas where children and dogs paddle.  Questions raised with South West Water and the Environment Agency did not provide the information requested about what the problem was or how it was being addressed.

In the West Dorset Parliamentary constituency, Wessex Water covers the coastline to Charmouth and South West Water covers Lyme Regis and the short bit up to the Devon border.   In 2021, Wessex Water released sewage here 1235 times; that’s 9537 hours of sewage flowing into our rivers and sea.   South West Water released sewage 262 times (1409 hours).  There were 56 sewage incidents in the River Lim (211 hours) which is up from the previous year. Top of the Poops is a good website to keep up with the sewage data.

The River Lim Monitoring Project is using test kits funded by Lyme Regis Town Council and the Regatta and Carnival Committee. They are also monitoring for ammonia at two of the sites – this is a better indicator of sewage pollution.


If you think it’s pollution coming from Charmouth, then you can contact the Wessex Water StreamClean team – and we’re promised someone will turn up promptly to find out what’s going on. Their emergency number is 0345 600 4600.  If you spot something going on in the Lim or on the beach in Lyme Regis, ring the South West Water number – 0344 346 2020. And let us at Turn Lyme Green know too so we know what complaints are being made. enquiries@turnlymegreen.co.uk  


Help is always needed – we’d love to hear from anyone with relevant expertise who can help us. And back up monitors would be welcome to help cover absences. Let us know if you can help.