Rambling About Rivers Ep 2: “Are our rivers being used as ‘open sewers’?”
Are our rivers being used as ‘open sewers’? We speak to the Ilkley Clean River Group to find out more.
In this episode, we join Jayne Mann (Marketing and Communications Manager at The Rivers Trust) and Dan Turner (Senior Project Officer at Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust) as they interview Karen Shackleton, founding member of Ilkley Clean River Group. This group consists of local people, united by their desire for a cleaner, safer river Ilkley.
In order to do this, they are pushing for their river to become the first riverine designated bathing area in the UK. They hope this status would force the authorities to prevent the release of sewage into the river.
During the summer months, huge crowds gather along the riverbank, swimming, paddling and fishing in the river. However, there have been reports of people becoming seriously ill after mistakenly ingesting the polluted water. The EU urban waste water directive states that sewage discharges should only take place only during/following extreme rainfall events. However, Ilkley locals do not believe that this directive is being adhered to.
Listen to the podcast to find out more about what has happened to the river at Ilkley, and what is being done to revive it.
Thank you to the North Sea Region Interreg project, WaterCoG, for sponsoring this podcast.