A motion proposed by Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Norman MacRae and Cllr Steve Good was approved at a full meeting of West Oxfordshire District Council last Wednesday.
Cllr MacRae said: “Dumping sewage in our beautiful rivers is unacceptable no matter what the weather or the circumstances are.
“Clearly this practice puts residents’ health at risk and prevents them from being able to swim and fish as and when they want to and that is why it should be stopped as soon as possible.”
Cllr MacRae added that a letter will now be written to Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers calling for legislation to be set in place by the end of the year to prohibit the release of untreated sewage into rivers.
Witney Town Council recently issued a warning after sewage spilled into streams following heavy rainfall in the lead up to Christmas and sewage fungus has been reported in the Colwell Brook and Emma's Dyke, discharged from the nearby Thames Water sewage treatment works.
Under current legislation, Thames Water has a permit regulated by the Environment Agency to release sewage into rivers when its system is under strain following periods of heavy rainfall, for example.