BART are excited to announce the 2017 Bristol Avon WaterBlitz, a campaign to collect as many water quality samples as possible in one week from the Bristol Avon and its tributaries. Taking place from 10th – 16th June to coincide with the festival of nature, the project will gain an invaluable snapshot of the health of our rivers that will help to direct future conservation efforts.

Thanks to funding from the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership and the Greggs Foundation, BART is working in partnership with FreshWater Watch, a global citizen science programme developed by the environmental NGO, Earthwatch Institute. BART are asking individuals and community groups to take part and help to collect at least 250 water quality samples within the Bristol Avon catchment, including Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North East Somerset. Participants will use simple colour dip tests to determine the concentration of phosphates and nitrates in the rivers, which are naturally occurring chemicals but can be increased by man-made pollution. In high concentrations these chemicals affect the water quality, degrading river ecosystems and harming the widlife which relies on the river. The data collected during the Bristol Avon WaterBlitz will be used by in Earthwatch research into the state of the world’s freshwater systems and by BART to plan local improvements.

Using the free water quality test is quick and easy to do, and all volunteers have to do is sample their chosen river or stream in the Bristol Avon catchment and upload the results to the Freshwater Watch website. On the website you can compare the water quality in your sample to other sites on an interactive results map.

BART are encouraging people to show us how they’re getting involved during the WaterBlitz week by sharing a picture or video of you sampling on Twitter using #BAWaterBlitz.

To sign up as a monitor, volunteers must register by Friday 2nd June using the the following link:

https://freshwaterwatch.thewaterhub.org/group/bristol-avon-blitz

You will then be sent your free water sampling kit by post. Please contact claire@bristolavonriverstrust.org with any questions.