The effect of nutrient removal at Ashford sewage treatment works on the benthic diatom ecology of the River Stour was studied. This paper describes assemblages above and below the works both before and after phosphorus stripping was installed. Taxa typical of eutrophic conditions dominated all samples, including those upstream of the works, suggesting that the river was already eutrophic before receiving the sewage effluent. Once nutrient removal was installed, phosphorus concentrations measured downstream of the works were similar to those measured upstream; however, there was little change in the diatom flora. Analysis of chemical data collected from the site suggest that the river may be nitrogen-limited for part of the year, and that, even with phosphorus stripping installed, the river still exceeds the Environment Agency's proposed interim targets for phosphorus concentrations in a eutrophic river.