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River health

We all want our rivers to be wonderful places. Running clear and teeming with life – natural beauty spots for people to relax and enjoy. 

In reality, there are three main factors that threaten our vision for rivers. These are:

  • Discharges from the water industry
  • Agriculture and rural land management
  • Urban and transport runoff 

We want to be very clear on our stance. Putting untreated sewage into rivers is unacceptable to us, our customers and the environment. We're working hard to stop these discharges, with the help of the Government, Ofwat and the Environment Agency.

Four people sit with a picnic next to a river which has two kayakers paddling on it

Storm discharge and rivers

Find out more about storm discharge and how it affects our rivers and water courses. 

Storm discharge and EDM

Storm discharge is released by storm overflows into watercourses during heavy or continued rain to prevent sewer flooding. We use event duration monitoring (EDM) to record storm discharge activity.

How we monitor storm discharge

Storm discharge map

Our near real-time map shows storm discharge activity, as indicated by our EDM monitors. You can use the map to see if overflows are currently discharging into a watercourse or the date and time of the last recorded discharge. 

View our storm discharge map

Storm discharge and flow data

We want to be open and transparent with our data. Access annual storm data discharge reports and total daily volume (TDV) flow data here. You can also use our third party API to integrate our data into your own applications.

View our data

Investing in river health

We’re fully committed to our future plan to reduce harm to river water. This includes only discharging high-quality treated effluent and using fewer storm overflows.

View action plans

Frequently asked questions

Why are some monitors offline? What's the impact of storm discharge on our rivers? What are we doing about frequently discharging sites? You'll find lots of useful information on our FAQ page.

View FAQs

Get in touch

Do you have questions or concerns about storm discharges but can't find the answer online? You can contact us using our enquiry form.

We'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Contact us

River health projects

We know we need to do a lot more to protect our much-loved rivers. That's why we're working hard to upgrade our network, to protect our rivers through a range of projects. 

Upgrading Chesham

We're investing more than £16 million in upgrading Chesham's sewage treatment works.

View Chesham project

Upgrading Swindon's pipes

We’re investing £16 million upgrading our infrastructure in the Swindon area, to improve river health.

View Swindon project

River Thames sampling

We're carrying out river water sampling at Henley. This will help us understand the condition of the river. 

View Henley data