More than 15 beaches in the South West have failed tests for bathing water quality. They include a number of previously recommended beaches such as Bude in Cornwall, Exmouth in Devon and Charmouth in Dorset.
The Marine Conservation Society says one of the wettest summers on record has led to increased sewage in the sea.
This weekend hundreds of volunteers are expected to scour the region's coastline looking for litter and other debris washed up on the shore. It's part of a campaign by the pressure group Surfers Against Sewage.
It warns that, although our beaches look clean at first glance, they can be strewn with plastic and other debris that threaten marine habitats.
The Environment Agency has admitted it made a mistake in water tests in Lyme Regis which led to one beach in the town being recorded as failing basic water quality standards.
The town council is angry at the results and is worried they could put tourists off booking for next season. Richard Lawrence reports.
Only thirty five percent of South West Water customers say they think they get value for money. It's the lowest satisfaction rate in the country.
Customers in the South West pay an average of five hundred and forty pounds a year. The average bill for the rest of the country is around three hundred and seventy five pounds.
Monica Read from South West Water says the costs of the beach clean up programme are partly responsible:
Tests of water quality on beaches at Exmouth and Budleigh show that they continue to meet EC standards for bathing, according to East Devon District Council. While heavy rains have led to some overflow from storm drains, this has not affected weekly tests.
The council says both beaches are now included in the South West Water Beach Live scheme. This provides the latest information on water quality.
There's been a sharp increase in the amount of dog mess left on beaches, wrapped in plastic bags. The Marine Conservation Society says the problem poop, scooped in bags and discarded by dog owners, rose by 11 per cent between 2010 and 11.