Nearly 40 beach pollution warnings have been issued in 48 hours as water companies poured sewage into rivers and the sea.
Heavy rainfall on Tuesday and Wednesday led to mass sewage dumps into the sea around the south coast of England, leading to warnings against bathing because of bacteria levels.
The Environment Agency warned people not to swim at 17 bathing water sites in the south-west of England, while the charity Surfers Against Sewage highlighted sewage spills or pollution at 37 sites in total across the south coast.
It came as Thames Water on Wednesday became the latest company to announce a hosepipe ban, which will come into force for its 10 million customers from Aug 24.
The move will more than triple the number of people under restrictions following similar announcements from South West Water, South East Water, Southern Water and Welsh Water.
Yorkshire Water will bring in restrictions for its five million customers from Aug 26.
The storms are not expected to outweigh the effects of weeks of dry weather this summer, which have led to drought conditions across the south and east of England, as well as in Yorkshire.