Bristol Avon WaterBlitz


The Bristol Avon WaterBlitz is an annual event to collect as many water quality samples as possible from across the Bristol Avon Catchment. The project is helping to gain an invaluable snapshot of the health of our rivers that will help to direct future conservation efforts. Click here to view results of the 2019 WaterBlitz and email to find out more.




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Thanks to funding from the Avon Frome Partnership, BART is working in partnership with FreshWater Watch, a global programme developed by the environmental NGO, Earthwatch. This charity aims to connect people with science and nature, engaging people in citizen science to build up a wealth of research data collected by volunteers from all over the world.

BART are asking individuals and community groups to take part in the WaterBlitz and help to collect as many water quality samples within the Bristol Avon catchment, including Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North East Somerset.

Volunteers will use simple tests to determine the concentration of phosphates and nitrates in the water. In high concentrations nutrients can impact the local wildlife which depends on a healthy river. The presence of nutrients may indicate a pollution event nearby or ongoing issues from land management, sewage outfalls or urban areas.

George Clark, BART Project Officer, said: “Rivers and streams are the arteries of our planet but they face serious challenges. Within the Bristol Avon catchment we often see nutrient pollution entering watercourses and degrading these important ecosystems and impacting the species that inhabit them. Therefore it is increasingly important to carry out monitoring and work together for rivers.”

“This year’s WaterBlitz is a great opportunity to get back outside after months of lockdown and connect with your favourite local river or newly discovered stream. Volunteers can take an active, and socially distant role in scientific monitoring, helping us understand the water quality issues in our communities and to help protect our precious rivers.”

With the free, easy-to-use water testing kit, volunteers can sample their chosen watercourse in the Bristol Avon catchment and submit their data to the Earthwatch database where nutrient levels can be compared on an interactive results map.

“BART would love to see how individuals, families and community groups are getting involved by sharing photos or videos of them out by their chosen watercourse using #BAWaterBlitz across social media,” added George.

To sign up as a monitor, volunteers should register throughout July and August.

Your water sampling kit, protective gloves and instructions will be sent to you by post.

Please contact with any questions.

WaterBlitz is a local project contributing to The Rivers Trust’s national campaign: Together for Rivers, aiming to address the serious issue of pollution in our waterways. As the local Rivers Trust, BART are delivering work on the ground to reduce pollution and connect local people to their green and blue spaces, promoting a care and appreciation for the natural environment.


How do I get my kit?
We provide a free water testing kit. This will be posted to the address that you provided on your registration form.

I cannot log in to the website
When you registered we sent you an email with the subject "FreshWater Watch: Account Details". This email contains your log in information. If you enter an incorrect username or password several times the system will block your account. Please contact us if you have any problems.

Help, I have forgotten my password
Click here to reset your password.

Do I have to use the FreshWater Watch app?
The app helps simplify some parts of the sampling such as recording geolocation, but volunteers are welcome to use a datasheet and then enter the information on the website if they prefer. Links to the app and datasheet are available on your profile page. If using a datasheet, don't forget to log in to the website to upload your results when you return home.

How do I use the FreshWater Watch app?
Visit the app store on your mobile device (android and iOS) to search for and install the FreshWater Watch app. Log in by entering the same username and password that you use for the website. The welcome screen will display clear options to create or view a record. If you have any problems, try deleting and reinstalling the app on your mobile device.