Carlisle Liberal Democrats have started a Stanwix petition to protect Rickerby Park from raw sewage water. 

A spokesperson from the party said: "In Stanwix, raw sewage is pumped into the Eden at Etterby Terrace by United Utilities having travelled underneath Etterby Lea."

Data from The Rivers Trust indicate that the sewer storm overflow spilled raw sewage on 42 occasions for a total of 64 hours.

Similarly, an overflow outlet in Rickerby Park, spilled 60 times in 2020 for a total of 217 hours, with another sewer storm overflow, near Trinity School, being unmonitored, raising questions as to how much spillage is within that particular site. 

Liberal Democrat campaigner Brian Wernham said: "It can’t be over-stated just how important protecting our rivers from untreated sewage is". 

The Lib Dems put forward a proposal in October to ban raw sewage going into rivers however, the motion was denied. 

The party are now proposing a 16% 'sewage tax' on water companies’ profits that would raise the £340m needed to sort the sewage system and keep our precious rivers and lakes clean.

Former Lib Dem leader MP Tim Farron said: "It is time to name and shame water companies for their disgusting sewage dumps in our rivers.

"Local environmental groups should have a seat at the table to stop water companies trying to get away with outrageous damage to wildlife habitats and popular swimming spots.

"The campaign to save our rivers from sewage has captured the public’s attention like nothing I’ve seen in years," he said. 

A United Utilities spokesperson, said in response to the situation on the River Eden: “We understand the desire from the public for improved river quality across the region. That is why we’ve committed to reducing the number of spills from storm overflows by at least a third over the next three years.

"We will also be investing £230m at sites across the North West to improve 184km of waterways and will ensure that all of our storm overflows are monitored by 2023 with real time data available to the general public. 

"However, it’s important to note that river health is affected by many factors and we will need to work collaboratively with partners and more widely in society to deliver the improvements we all want to see," they said.