Surfers Against Sewage: petition for safer water quality across UK

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Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), a national ocean conservation charity, is calling on the UK Government to end sewage pollution in coastal and river waters as part of a new campaign to guarantee safe-seas all year round, encouraging the British public to join the charity petition.

The new #EndSewagePollution petition aims to protect the health and wellbeing of the public and help save Oceans. The charity plans to change government policy and legislation to protect UK waters, and restore rivers and the Ocean by generating over 50,000 signatures.

With the UK currently placed 25th out of 30 EU countries for coastal water quality* and with just 14% of British rivers meeting good environmental standards, the SAS aim to end sewage pollution with support from government.

A recent study from the SAS, reveals that 79% of water lovers believe they will place greater value on nature, and 70% believe their attitude towards spending time outdoors will increase after lockdown.

The study also found that nearly 8 out of 10 people (77%) want the government to take more action to protect the sea, with almost three quarters wanting businesses to do more to protect beaches.

The SAS believes that systems designed to protect water users and the environment are set up to fail.

A wider study from SAS and Exeter University revealed that sea bathers’ are at a higher risk of experiencing symptoms of respiratory infections, skin aliments, ear conditions, and eye infections as a result of particles from sewage matter and waste coming into contact with their skin.

Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, says: "This is the water industry emissions scandal. A water quality testing programme that overlooks the worst sewage pollution events and hides the true state of rivers and the Ocean. It’s unacceptable to treat these blue spaces that are increasingly important to the health and wellbeing of society in this way.

"The public demands more water quality information and action to protect them at the beach. With the governments water quality testing programme on hold this summer, our campaigns have never been more important to help keep swimmers safe. That’s why we track and monitor hundreds of sewage spills annually, and share real-time water quality information for the whole of the UK through our Safer Seas Service app. But without bigger government support, changes cannot be put in place to constantly protect the public and the environment from the dangers of sewage.

“We’re calling on the public to support our campaign to #EndSewagePollution – the government must act to stop our rivers and ocean from being the dumping ground for big industry, and when we deliver this to government later this year, we hope for a clear blue future for our waters.”

Surfers Against Sewage is now calling for legislation to better recognise the dangers of sewage pollution and protect UK beaches and riverbanks.

01 Cover August

Issue 41 August 2020

  • Quiet places: Exploring some of the lesser known swim spots in the UK
  • Lockdown: Could it make you a better swimmer?
  • Lido Love: Celebrating outdoor pools with Author and journalist Christopher Beanland
  • Training: Keri-anne Payne's open water checklist
  • The loneliness of the black long distance swimmer: Charles Chapman

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