Stop Sewage Pollution in Jesmond Dene

10 Mar 2024
James Coles inspecting dirty water taken from the Ouseburn

James Coles, Gerry Keating and Philip Browne have joined with fellow Liberal Democrats across the city to campaign for an end to sewage pollution in the Ouseburn.

The Ouseburn passes through Jesmond Dene, Newcastle's favourite park. During heavy rain, untreated sewage is allowed to be discharged through a series of outfall pipes mainly controlled by Northumbrian Water.

Across the length of the Ouseburn, there were 228 incidents in 2022, with over 910 million litres of contaminated water running into the river. Many people enjoy walking along and relaxing by the river particularly in locations like Jesmond Dene. But a study by Newcastle University scientists in Jesmond Dene found that the water contained faecal bacterial levels around 100 times higher than bathing water standards - leading to a risk of diarrhoea or another gastrointestinal disease playing in the water.

Walking along the riverbank can also be spoilt by the smell of sewage. Commenting on the campaign, James said: "In summer, the smell coming off the Ouseburn is absolutely nauseating, it's impossible to enjoy a quiet walk in the park, or a picnic in the field as it feels like sitting next to an open sewer."

To find out much more about this issue and to sign our petition to clean up the Ouseburn, click on the link below: