Ultra Violet (UV) light is the process in sewage treatment that renders sewage effluent clean and safe. Pease Bay in Scotland and Mablethorpe and Cleethorpes on England’s East coast all have their UV light turned off outside the bathing season, thus outside the bathing season the surrounding surf spots have a massive increase in the bacteria load inputted from the sewerage systems.
This massive increase in pathogens like Hep A, Ecoli 0157H, Gastro Enteritis poses a significant health risk to waters users. It’s especially concerning when you take into account surfers are 3 times more at risk from Hep A than the average bather due to immersion and ingestion. And the areas affected all receive their best surf outside the bathing season (May- Sept in England and June to Sept in Scotland).
The answer is simple, year round UV treatment is utterly vital for surfers and the Environment Agency agreed in 2008 after a lengthy SAS campaign in Northumberland. So we have a precedent, water companies can only turn off UV treatment if they can prove an absence of water users and an absence of an impact water quality.
The next step is proving the presence of water users at these surf spots outside the bathing season. We can only do this with your help! Sign the petition below to the Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (EA & SEPA) urging them to require the respective water companies to ensure the sewage effluent is treated to a safe level before it is discharged into our surf spots.