Saltford Parish Council is not responsible for the quality of water at the River Avon in Saltford. For user awareness, there have been several reports of children and young people becoming ill following swimming in the River Avon in Saltford. In 2018, a 12 year old child was placed in isolation for three nights at Bristol Children’s Hospital after swimming in the river at Saltford. Symptoms reported include vomiting, diarrhoea, and severe dehydration.
B&NES Council have informed Saltford Parish Council that combined sewer overflows – better known as storm overflows – protect properties from flooding by acting as relief valves for a mix of rainwater and foul sewage water.
Records show that in 2019 one Saltford storm overflow spilled 78 times into the River Avon in Saltford for a total of 80hrs. A second storm overflow spilled 82 times for a total of 1,059hrs into the River Avon at Saltford.
Further to storm overflows, a sewage treatment works is located close to Saltford Weir. A spokesman for the Environment Agency said in 2018 that discharge from the sewage treatment works run downstream away from its location.
Due to concerns about the impact of water quality on public health, when approached by Saltford Parish Council about storm overflows in 2020, the Environment Agency stated that it does not test water quality at Saltford Weir as it is not a designated bathing area.