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Enable group to address sewage pollution in the Avon

We the undersigned demand Bristol City Council to support us in addressing the issue of sewage pollution in the River Avon and to amend the 2009 bye-law prohibiting swimming.

Last year, Wessex Water discharged raw sewage directly into the river 23,524 times for a total duration of 151,258 hours.

To address this, community group Conham Bathing has been preparing an application to Defra for Designated Bathing Water Status at Conham River Park (and Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve), a beautiful and historic bathing spot that has been enjoyed by locals for generations. With this status, the Environment Agency would monitor the levels of sewage pollution at the site and be responsible for implementing improvement measures if the water is found to be of persistently poor quality.

The group need the Council's permission to submit the application, as it is the landowner of the site. However, the Council has refused to support their efforts due to the Bristol City Docks Bye-Law 2009: Part V, sub-section 49, which prohibits swimming in the harbour, including the stretch of river at Conham River Park, despite this being some distance away.

We are now demanding the Council amend this bye-law, so we can work towards enhancing and protecting the water quality in this treasured nature reserve, not only for public health, but for the river and the wildlife it supports.

Started by: Rebecca Blease (

This ePetition ran from 04/07/2022 to 12/08/2022 and has now finished.

5257 people signed this ePetition.