SAS are disgusted and dismayed that Guernsey’s Deputies voted yesterday to continue the archaic practice of discharging the 65,000 people’s raw sewage out to sea daily, reneging on promises to the islanders for full sewage treatment yet again.

The Deputies were told by the Public Service Department that ‘natural’ sewage treatment could deal with 65,000 people’s raw sewage. ‘Natural’ sewage treatment consists of the sea, sun and tides. SAS delivered a dossier outlining basic errors in Guernsey’s Public Service Department ‘Liquid Waste Strategy’ to all the Deputies and were buoyed by the support in the lead up to the debate.

• The tidal currents Guernsey’s sewage effluent is discharged into do not take the effluent away from the island. The tidal currents take the effluent along the east coast of Guernsey and then around the island in an anticlockwise direction.

• By leaving the solid organic waste in the effluent, the natural UV (from the sun) will be less effective in decaying the trillions of pathogens continuously discharged into the sea. Some of these pathogens can survive for prolonged periods in seawater (Hepatitis A for 90 days and Ecoli 0157 for 30 days).

Only last week Guernsey’s coast was impacted by raw sewage and associated sanitary waste with the island’s former environment minister and a number of Guernsey sea swimmers identifying sewage outfalls as the probable source of pollution..

SAS hoped that the amendment tabled by Deputy David de Lisle calling for full for partially treated sewage would rescue Guernsey from the practice of discharging raw sewage. SAS is concerned that the Deputies irresponsible actions pose a tangible health risk, contribute to the growing marine litter problem and could harm the tourist industry which is so vital to Guernsey’s economy.

SAS will continue to warm supporters in the UK and around the world that the States of Guernsey have a policy of discharging 65,000 people’s raw sewage into the sea. The Marine Conservation Society will also be unable to recommend several Guernsey beaches due to the impact of the raw sewage effluent.

SAS will be making Guernsey’s raw sewage strategy an election issue this year and Guernsey residents can once again call on their representatives to protect the islands environment, tourist industry and reputation.

SAS Campaign Director Andy Cummins says: “This is disappointing but unfortunately not surprising. Time and again Guernsey’s Government have ignored the wishes of residents, local businesses and supporting scientific evidence. Guernsey is increasingly isolated as a country promoting the discharge of raw sewage into the sea as a responsible treatment method, something which has been largely rejected across the rest of the developed world.”