Secrett, M.; Battarbee, R.W.

Faecal bacteria concentration in the River Wharfe from 2019 to 2021

This dataset contains faecal bacteria data (mainly E. coli but also some Intestinal enterococci) for the River Wharfe and its tributaries in Yorkshire. They were collected and analysed as part of citizen science projects (termed the Ashlands and iWharfe projects) designed to assess the extent to which the river is contaminated by sewage effluent and capable of meeting national bathing water standards. In the Ashlands project, samples were taken upstream and downstream of the Sewage Treatment Works in Ilkley. The data were used in a successful application by the Ilkley Clean River Group for the river in Ilkley to be designated as a bathing water, the first running water site so designated in the UK. The iWharfe data are from samples collected on two occasions (2020 and 2021) at sites along the full length of the river and selected tributaries and show in particular the level of faecal bacteria contamination at recreational sites along the river. Overall, the data show not only the importance of sewage effluent in causing high concentrations of faecal bacteria in the river but also the role of agricultural sources presumed to be from farm livestock.

Publication date: 2022-05-03

Get the data

This dataset is available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the data: Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Secrett, M.; Battarbee, R.W. (2022). Faecal bacteria concentration in the River Wharfe from 2019 to 2021. NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre.



Study area
Temporal extent
2019-04-01    to    2021-09-30

Provenance & quality

Samples were collected in sterile bottles by trained volunteers, kept in cool bags during transport, delivered to an ALS Ltd collection point in Wakefield and thence to ALS Ltd, an accredited laboratory, in Coventry for analysis. Samples were analysed using standard methods within 24 hours of collection. Data were quality controlled by ALS before release. All data collected and analysed in this way have been collated and included in this data-set.

Supplemental information

Correspondence/contact details

Professor Rick Battarbee
University College London


Secrett, M.
Addingham Environment Group
Battarbee, R.W.
University College London

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
Rights Holder
University College London
Rights Holder
Addingham Environment Group

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Environment , Inland Waters
Bathing water,  Citizen science,  E.Coli,  Ilkley,  intestinal enterococci,  River Wharfe,  Water quality Yorkshire Dales
Environmental Monitoring Facilities
River Trust
Yorkshire Water
Ilkley town council
Wetherby Town Council
Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
WGS 84 / Pseudo-Mercator
Last updated
18 May 2022 12:21