River Adur water quality

We take samples of water from the River Adur to check for the presence of potentially harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E.coli).

Samples are collected monthly from the following sites along the river's estuary (known as transitional water) :

  • Old Shoreham Toll Bridge
  • Adur Ferry Bridge
  • Norfolk Bridge
  • from the channel to the west of Adur Recreation Ground

We monitor the quality of the transitional water because this part of the river is used by the public for leisure activities and water sports. These sampling sites all have public access bridges which allows water to be collected without unsettling the riverbed, even at low tide. This ensures the sample does not contain too much sediment or mud.

Sampling results

Results are provided as a coliform count per 100ml. The higher the coliform count, the poorer the water quality.

There is currently no guidance on classifying the water quality of transitional waters and so seawater bathing quality monitoring is used to estimate the quality of the water in the estuary. As a guide, levels of over 2,000 per 100ml would be considered high.

Seawater bathing quality: is monitored by The Environment Agency at Lancing, Shoreham Beach, Southwick and Worthing. For more information please see:

Further information

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Page last updated: 14 December 2023

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