02 April 2024

1,300 hours of sewage released into River Lim

1,300 hours of sewage released into River Lim

THE equivalent of almost two months of sewage has been discharged into the River Lim in one year, latest data has shown.

Data released by the Environment Agency on permitted sewage overflows in 2023 showed that untreated sewage spilled into the river in Lyme Regis for 1,300 hours.

The discharge point to the west of the Cobb, which is an indicator for the water quality on the sandy beach, the designated bathing beach, spilled for 30 recorded hours in 2023, compared with eight in 2022.

Overall, this shows little change from the 2022 data which, after revision, showed 1,200 hours of discharges into the Lim.

Vicki Elcoate, of the River Lim Action Group, said: “Things aren’t improving – indeed in the case of the Cobb outlet they’ve got considerably worse.

“It’s also concerning that there are anomalies in the data which need explanation. While the discharges from the sewage treatment works have decreased significantly, which is welcome, there have been huge increases at Mill Lane and Horn Bridge.”

The group said originally, South West Water and the Environment Agency published much higher figures for 2022, which they questioned.

The group said these were then reviewed and revised down but their questions about the evidence base for the revised figures were not answered satisfactorily, making the data hard to compare.

Vicki said: “The whole picture has got worse since 2020 when we had 376 hours of overflows. But it’s hard to know what data to trust as they raise so many questions and last year proved to be incorrect.”

Lyme Regis Town Council is working with the River Lim Action Group, the Environment Agency, South West Water and Dorset Council to jointly tackle the issues of water quality in the river and on the beaches.