CSO’s are a massive problem. The water companies and EA won’t address it, so it is time to fight. Follow the instructions below to petition the Secretary of State for the Environment, then share this post.
Surfers Against Sewage is calling on all beach lovers to lobby the Secretary of State for the Environment to call for an end to sewer overflow discharges at popular beaches and ensure water quality is tested to protect those most at risk.
The Safer Seas App continues to expose the failings in both the sewerage system, and the loopholes being used to hide the true impacts of sewage pollution. During the 2015 bathing season (May- Sept), 95% of UK beaches met the minimum EU water quality standard, yet the Safer Seas Service warned users of 3,045 pollution incidents from sewer overflow discharges and runoff from farmland and urban environments.
There were 926 discharges of untreated human sewage at English beaches covered by the Safer Seas Service. Only 105* of these sewage spills were monitored by the weekly Environment Agency water quality testing regime. This leaves a disturbing 89% of the untreated sewage discharges unchecked and outside of the legal framework designed to protect surfers, bathers, water users and coastal communities.
Further more, 41** beaches across England (16), Wales (11) and Scotland (14) where SAS believe the sampling spot is placed in an area that avoids the most polluted, yet popular areas on the beach. The results at these beaches could be misleading communities and the vital opportunity to implement any necessary improvements could be withheld.
Surfers Against Sewage has written to the Prime Minister after he and his family were reportedly caught out, unwittingly using the sea during a sewage pollution event this summer at Polzeath. Surfers Against Sewage is calling for:
· bathing water quality to be tested at the appropriate time and in the appropriate place, thus protecting the bathers, surfers and water users most at risk.
Water company to introduce more effective and faster investment to remove current sewer overflow assets with priority awarded to sensitive areas such as bathing waters, recreational watersports zones and Sites of Special Surfing Interest.
· Mandatory year-round sewer overflow warnings for all affected UK beaches regularly used by the public to protect public heath where the current water-quality testing regime fails to do so.
· A strict, legally binding limit of 3 sewer overflow discharges per season, per sewer overflow asset. Discharges should only be acceptable in extreme weather events.
· A ban on water companies installing all new sewer overflow assets directly impacting areas of the coastline important for public recreation or environmentally sensitive areas.
To get behind he campaign surfers should to write to Liz Truss, the Secretary of State for the Environment, to support calls to adopt these urgent measures to better protect the environment and the people that use it.
Copy this letter to the Secretary of State for the Environment
Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for the Environment
17 Smith Square
Dear Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for the Environment,
STOP SEWAGE POLLUTING OUR BEACHES
I hope you would agree that the UK has one of the most beautiful and diverse coastlines in the world and worthy of protecting.
Yet, during the 2015 bathing season (May 15th – Sept 30th) the Safer Seas Service warned beach users of a shocking 3, 045 pollution incidents, across the 326 of the country’s best beaches. The current water quality testing programme includes significant loopholes meaning that it both fails to pick up the current scale of sewage and diffuse pollution at our beaches. This bathing season a mere 11% of the sewage discharges across England could have potentially been identified by the Environment Agency’s water quality testing. More worryingly, the current system doesn’t adequately safeguard the health of the rapidly growing number of people using our seas for recreation and relaxation year-round.
The Safer Seas Service is a vital public heath protection service, which warns the public, for free and in real-time when many of our fantastic beaches are polluted by untreated sewage effluent and diffuse pollution. These real-time Safer Seas Service warnings allow people to protect themselves from potentially harmful water-borne pollution, directing them towards safer and more appropriate beaches to enjoy.
Whilst the Safer Seas Service is an effective tool in allowing water users to make the most informed decision about how, when and where they use the sea, it’s not a solution to address the underlying causes of these all too frequent sewage pollution incidents.
Together with Surfers Against Sewage, I call on you to intervene on the issue of sewer overflow pollution, which is a significant concern amongst SAS members nationwide, the country’s estimated 600,000 recreational surfers, thousands of coastal businesses, and the millions of holidaymakers that should be able to enjoy our beaches and oceans without the risk of coming into contact with raw sewage. We are calling for more urgent action to address on-going sewage pollution at our beaches including:
A review of how the UK implements the Bathing Water Directive, ensuring bathing water quality is tested at the appropriate time and in the appropriate place, thus protecting the bathers, surfers and water users most at risk.
Increasing water company obligations to introduce more effective and faster investment to remove current sewer overflow assets with priority awarded to sensitive areas such as bathing waters, recreational watersports zones and Sites of Special Surfing Interest.
Mandatory year-round sewer overflow warnings introduced for all affected UK beaches regularly used by the public to protect public heath where the current water quality-testing regime fails to.
A strict, legally binding limit of 3 sewer overflow discharges per season, per sewer overflow asset. Discharges should only be acceptable in extreme weather events.
A ban on water companies installing all new sewer overflow assets directly impacting areas of the coastline important for public recreation or other environmentally sensitive areas.
I look forward to hearing from you.
INSERT NAME, Surfers Against Sewage Supporter
Add your name and address to the letter where stated.
Attach the letter to an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to the address featured on the letter.