Boris Johnson sent bottle of 'manure and sewage' filled River Wye water by campaigners

  • Callum Watkinson reports on the bottle of water heading to the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been warned to "take his chances" drinking a bottle of water from the River Wye.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson was questioned in the House of Commons about what the government intends to do to improve the water quality of the River Wye, which runs 155 miles from its source in mid-Wales through Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

He responded by recollecting that he himself once had a "memorable swim in the Wye - I think at about 5 o’clock in the morning—and it tasted like nectar."

Now environmental campaigners have bottled up a sample of the river water to send to the Mr Johnson.

  • The Friends of the Upper Wye video message to the Prime Minister to accompany the bottle of dirty river water they intend to send to him .

They say rather than it tasting of 'nectar', it is in fact "a heady cocktail of farm manure, sewage and other chemicals doubtless swilling around," and have warned him to take his chances - as "sadly nobody tests e-coli levels on the river."

They produced a video of five-year-old boy who lives alongside the river in Powys gathering the sample, and today they're bottling it in a Herefordshire cider factory to send to the PM along with a note warning him of its potentially dangerous ingredients.

Dirt, filth, and sewage can be seen running through the River Wye after years of mistreatment Credit: ITV West Country

ITV News Central has been investigating the levels of pollution along the River Wye for months.

Sewage is being dumped in the river catchment on an "industrial scale" - while poultry producers have admitted they need to mitigate their impact on the amount of phosphates entering the water.

In September, we revealed that in 2020 alone, 33 years worth of sewage was dumped into the catchment area of the river.

The Environment Agency has previously acknowledged that the two main sources of pollution are agriculture - which contributes around 60% - and outflow from Combined Storm Overflows, which release raw, untreated sewage into rivers, streams and the sea at times when the system is at risk of flooding.

In response to the discussion in the House of Commons this week, Natural Resources Wales and Defra both said they have plans in place to achieve environmental targets in the area.