ROMSEY Town Council has joined a group of local authorities fighting sewage dumping in rivers.

The Pan Parish River Pollution Forum was formed earlier this year, following widespread concerns about sewage and other pollution and contamination of the River Test.

They have had two meetings so far, with the next one on June 26 at Houghton Village Hall. 

The parish councils in the PPRP Forum include: Barton Stacey, Chilbolton, Houghton, Goodworth Clatford, King’s Somborne, Lockerley, Longstock, North Baddesley, Nursling and Rownhams, Romsey Town Council, Shipton Bellinger, Stockbridge, and Wherwell.

Town councillor Colin Burgess said: “I am annoyed and deeply concerned about the damage caused to the ecology of the River Test by repeated untreated wastewater overflows by Southern Water. 

“Undoubtedly, this is impacting the river's SSSI status, its wildlife and human activities like a lucrative angling industry. Hearing of a working dog taking ill after drinking from the Test at Broadlands is of particular concern because it poses a serious risk to public health, locally. I would therefore strongly advise residents not to enter the River Test and to keep domestic animals away from the water.

Hampshire Chronicle: Colin Burgess

READ MORE: Pan Parish River Pollution Forum discuss concerns over sewage dumping

“The vision of river water flowing past Sadler's Mill that's been flushed down toilets without being treated frankly turns my stomach.

“According to the Environment Agency's online guidance swimming in polluted water can increase the risk of gastrointestinal illnesses, or stomach bugs, which may cause diarrhoea and/or vomiting, as well as respiratory, skin, ear and eye infections. I ask parents to alert their children to this risk. Let's all stay well as the summer and its drier and warmer weather approaches.”

Cllr Burgess is encouraging residents to contact him with details of any overflows including location, date, time, description, any photographic evidence plus the date reported to the Environment Agency. He can be contacted by emailing 

He added: “Ultimately, I want all stakeholders like Southern Water, Local and Central Government and OfWAT to work constructively to permanently put a stop to untreated wastewater overflows from any of Southern Water's assets into the River Test or its tributaries.”

For more details about the Pan Parish River Pollution Forum and its meetings, visit