Government considers application for River Wharfe to receive 'bathing water status' in Ilkley
If successful, it would mean part of the river flowing through Ilkley would be monitored regularly during the bathing season, May 15 to September 30.
The water would be monitored for bacteria detrimental to human health and classified annually as Excellent, Good, Sufficient or Poor based on bacteria levels.
The Government has today launched a public consultation on the application.
Ilkley residents, including farmers and swimming groups, are invited to give their views.
After eight weeks the responses will be reviewed and a final decision will be made by the Environment Secretary.
Any surface water can be designated as a bathing water if it is used by a large number of people and meets the requirements for designation.
There are currently 12 inland bathing waters in England, all on lakes.
If successful, this section of the River Wharfe would become the first river bathing area to be designated as a bathing water.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “We protect people’s health at popular swimming spots across the country by requiring the water quality at those sites to be regularly monitored.
"At present, 93% of bathing waters in England have ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ water quality.
“I encourage local residents to take part in this consultation so we can have as many views as possible to inform our final decision.”