Nick Gupta

Environment Agency


Dear Sir,

Environmental Crisis on the River Avon near Stonehenge

We are notifying you of severe environmental damage that has been caused and continues to be caused by excessive phosphate discharge from sewage treatment works (STWs) operated by Wessex Water at Upavon, Ratfyn and Amesbury. We are also concerned that there is an imminent threat the damage will become even worse.

Salmon and Trout Conservation has carried out invertebrate sampling on Salisbury and District Angling Club’s beats on the Avon over the last three years in its Riverfly Census. The results in the attached Request for Action show a dramatic decline in invertebrate life and associated water quality on the Club’s waters. The Environment Agency (EA)’s own chemical sampling in river and at the STWs discharge points also register a dramatic increase in phosphate levels.

We realise that phosphate effluent is not the only harmful factor adversely impacting the health of the Avon. However, this effluent presents a clear and continuing threat that must be addressed as a matter of urgency. We believe immediate action is needed to reduce the level of phosphate discharge by upgrading the STW as required. This may be expensive but Wessex Water has the resources to carry out this essential investment.

We trust that the EA will exercise its regulatory power under Regulation 29 of the Environmental Damage Regulations as we set out in our attached formal Request for Action.

May we suggest that a meeting is arranged as soon as possible and certainly within the next 21 days to address the way forward.

Yours faithfully,

Nick Measham                                                            Jan Szakowski

Salmon & Trout Conservation                                    Salisbury & District Angling Club

Formal Request for Action