The River Thames in Oxford could be granted 'bathing water status' as the city council is set to vote on sewage pollution.

Oxford City Council will vote on Monday on whether to apply for bathing water status for the River Thames through Oxford which could make the local stretch of the river one of the first three officially-designated bathing waters in the country.

Oxford Mail:

If passed, the Thames’ water quality would be monitored weekly in the summer, and real-time sewage pollution alerts would be provided for swimmers, rowers, and other river users.

Read also: Disabled woman considers legal action over parking charge in Didcot

A petition against sewage pollution by Thames Water has gained more than 3,800 signatures in three weeks.

Oxford Mail:

The petition comes after data from The Rivers Trust released in July revealed Thames Water’s sewage treatment works spilled raw sewage into the upper Thames, between Lechlade and Reading, more than 1,300 times in 2019, for 17,000 hours in total.

Oxford Mail:

Water companies are technically allowed to release raw sewage into rivers in exceptional circumstances.

However, in July The Guardian newspaper leaked data which revealed that this is happening 'alarmingly' frequently, at 200,000 times across England in 2019.