PUBLIC INFORMATION ON SWIMMING IN ILKLEY
a. Bathing is not advised downstream of the swing bridge at any time:
The water is continually contaminated by faecal coliform bacteria from the treated effluent outfall and frequently contaminated by storm overflow discharge. We recommend signage to that effect.
b. Bathing is not advised at the Burley Weir:
Coliform bacteria are likely always to be in relatively high concentration predominantly from inputs from Ben Rhydding.
c. Upstream of the swing bridge:
Whilst we as yet do not know all the conditions under which it is safe to bathe at the beaches, we are fairly confident that in dry weather, low flow conditions, risk from coliform bacteria and associated viruses and bacteria is low.
d. Upstream of the swing bridge and Old Bridge (tennis club/ Ilkley beach): :We are confident in our conclusion that in wet weather and when river levels are high, the risk is high .
e. Upstream of Addingham Weir:
Risk from coliform bacteria is low in all conditions. Downstream is NOT safe in rain see data.
Please note; the responsibility for the water quality lies with the Environment Agency (EA) / Yorkshire Water Services (YWS) and our findings are entirely advisory. The public swims, paddles and plays in the river at their own risk. If you get ill then you should take it up by contacting the EA 0800 807060.
Report an incident:
If you see an ingress or outflow to the river of concern to you e.g. discoloured water, effluent, solids of unknown constitution or if you see a drain or manhole overflowing then call the Environment Agency (EA) Hotline. They will want to know the location, if there is evidence of wildlife in peril or distress, if there is odour, so be as descriptive as you can. The number to dial is: 0800 80 70 60 Please let us know contact us along with the incident number given by the EA. It would help if you could give the name of the person receiving your report.
Environment Agency Data
This is the information given and published by the Environment Agency. The testing area includes the most polluted area near the waste water treatment works and a policy of notifying the public of the dangers of the area. The links below show the testing in some detail.
Environment Agency Testing Information for the Ben Rhydding Stepping Stones (Link)
Environment Agency Testing Information for the Wharfe at Cromwheel (Link)
Other Bathing Water Profiles (and comparisons) (Link)