Anglian Water will fund work to sample river water at a popular wild swimming spot.

The company announced a new package of work with local river and wild swimming groups to support bathing water designation plans at three locations in the east of England.

The chosen sites, some of the most popular rivers in the region, include the River Waveney in Bungay, as well as the River Cam south of Cambridge, and the River Deben at Woodbridge.

Anglian Water said its Get River Positive programme shows it is “focusing on creating a flourishing environment and delivering on the expectations of customers, stakeholders and the environment itself to transform river health across the region”.

The studies are part of the water company’s plans to bring together key partners and provide funding to carry out regular monitoring of the water quality in and around the popular swimming sites.

The announcement comes as Anglian Water has committed to go further to clean up rivers as part of its Get River Positive programme.

Martha Meek, development manager from the River Waveney Trust, said: “I am delighted that we are beginning to work in partnership with Anglian Water on improving and monitoring water quality on the River Waveney.

"Water companies have a big part to play in the health of our rivers, ensuring they are fit for all to play in, and the new Anglian Water Get River Positive campaign is a really welcome step towards a much more transparent and accessible company.

"We welcome this partnership approach and hope that together we can achieve more for the river.”

The programme aims to demonstrate just how seriously it is focussing on creating a flourishing environment, and delivering on the expectations of customers, stakeholders and the environment itself to transform river health across the region.

Director of quality and environment for Anglian Water, Dr Robin Price said: “Since the pandemic, we’ve seen an enormous surge of people embracing their local environment and using their local rivers and water courses for wild swimming, paddleboarding and canoeing.

“We fully support the aspirations of our customers that our rivers should be beautiful places, rich in nature, but also know how valuable they have become for community recreation and wellbeing, and the expectation that they should be safe places for people to enjoy.

"We want people to know we are listening - as part of Get River Positive we’re committed to playing our part in making that happen by ensuring our operations are not the reason for poor river health, but as importantly, we’ll work to bring the right people together who also have a role to play.”

Toby Hammond, one of the organisers of the ‘Procession Against Poo’ protest held in May, welcomes the funding, but hopes that the water company will deliver on their promises.

Mr Hammond said: "I am pleased through the River Waveney Trust's brilliant devotion, work has been successful in getting money out from Anglian Water to clean up the river.

"It is excellent to see that Anglian Water have been supporting the great work of the River Waveney Trust.

"The Trust's charitable work is great, and I admire the team for their efforts. We need to see change and this charity is hugely devoted to preserving and protecting the Waveney.

"We are one of the only countries who privatise our sewage network, even the land of capitalism, America, don't do that and have states responsible for sewage clear ups.

"Anglian Water is a huge and profitable company - we need to keep the pressure up to make sure these aren't just nice and kind words, and we actually see action taken."