Volunteers begin water quality testing in River Lim after pollution concerns

River Lim water quality monitoring
Volunteers, pictured at the River Lim in Lyme Regis, will be carrying out regular monitoring of the water quality

A TEAM of volunteers has started monitoring water quality levels of the River Lim in Lyme Regis, after concerns were raised about pollution.

Turn Lyme Green is co-ordinating the project with the guidance of the Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT), which aims to restore and protect the rivers, lakes, and estuaries of the region for the benefit of nature, people, and local economies.

Local residents in Lyme Regis and Uplyme became increasingly concerned over the summer as permanent signs were erected warning of pollution in areas where children and dogs paddle.  

The River Lim flows directly into the sea and also puts at risk sea users, both locals and visitors, including swimmers, paddleboarders, sailors and fishermen. 

Questions raised with South West Water and the Environment Agency did not provide clear answers about what the problem was or how it was being addressed.

“We decided to start a citizens’ science monitoring project to find out what’s going on,” said Vicki Elcoate who is co-ordinating the volunteers.

“We’ll be carrying out monthly monitoring along the Lim and the streams that feed into it initially for six months.

“This will look at the water quality, phosphate content and try to spot any pollution incidents – like sewage smells which need investigation.

“We need answers about the state of our river to alleviate concerns about possible health risks and safety for bathing’”.

WRT has been running its leading Westcountry Citizen Science Investigations (CSI) volunteer project since 2016.

Simon Browning, senior monitoring officer at WRT, said: “We are always delighted when people want to take a proactive approach to looking after their local rivers and waterways and we are looking forward to supporting the River Lim Monitoring Project in surveying the river habitat and testing water quality.

“With more than 850 waterbodies across the West Country, our active citizen scientists make a vital contribution to our understanding of the pressures they face, with data informing our work and having the potential to influence policy.”

The River Lim Monitoring Project will be using test kits partly funded by Lyme Regis Town Council.

Anyone interested in learning more about the project should email Turn Lyme Green chair Laura Noel on laura.noel51@gmail.com

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