Join the pollution patrol

PEOPLE are being urged to join in a ‘citizen science’ event to monitor pollution levels in the River Frome.

Bristol Avon Rivers Trust is running its annual RiverBlitz to measure water quality in local waterways from July 7 to 14.

People can sign up online to be sent a monitoring kit in the post, which can be used to take samples of river and stream water to test levels of nitrates, phosphates and other common pollutants.

The RiverBlitz has been running for seven years and enables BART to understand the impact of pollution on the health of river water, and help identify sites in need of further investigation.

Earlier this year sampling of water in the Frome upstream at Frampton Cotterell, by a local nature group and UWE researchers, uncovered “shocking” levels of potentially harmful coliform bacteria.

RiverBlitz project manager Rozy Gray said: “Our rivers are facing enormous challenges, of which excessive nutrient inputs are a major aspect, negatively impacting the diversity of species inhabiting our river environments.

“Nitrate and phosphate are important nutrients in rivers, however in excessive quantities they cause problems for wildlife.

“Monitoring nutrient levels, whilst simultaneously raising awareness of their impact, is what RiverBlitz is all about and we hope that people are both interested and excited to get involved to do their bit to support BART’s work in protecting them into the future.”

She said the RiverBlitz project was a “fantastic way for people to get out and spend time by their local river, getting to better understand the ecosystem while also taking an active role to contribute to the ongoing conservation of these spaces”. 

To take part in the RiverBlitz, sign up online at by July 1 to receive a monitoring kit in the post.