Surfers Against Sewage to launch free real time Sewage Alert Service at 55 beaches UK wide.
SAS recently asked over 200 beach users all around the UK if they wanted to know when sewage is in the sea. A resounding 95% said YES. The good news is, from the start of the bathing season, (15th May), SAS’s revolutionary Sewage Alert Service will inform beach users in real time when raw sewage is discharged into the sea via Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). Providing beach users with these warnings constitutes a dramatic improvement in the provision of public information on sewage spills at some of the country’s best-loved beaches.
Sign up for our free text alerts and select the beaches that you would like to receive free warnings for.
SAS regional reps across the UK attended CSO affected beaches, asking 234 beach users:
- Q1: When untreated sewage is discharged at this beach do you believe you should be told? 95% of people want to be told. Beach users responses included; “Definitely, I wouldn’t visit otherwise”, “well yeah, you’d get told if it was in the street” and also “Of course, children swim in the sea”. This level of response clearly gives SAS the mandate to pass on this vital information.
- Q2: Do you know if there is ever untreated sewage discharged at this beach? Only 30% knew that their beach could suffer from sewage pollution. Until now even experts in sewerage systems could only guestimate when water quality could be impacted by sewage and could pose a potential danger to health.
SAS Reps asked beaches users at the following beaches: Redcar (North East), Tynemouth Longsands (North East), King Edwards (North East), Scarborough North and South Bay (North East), Porthtowan (Cornwall), Widemouth (Cornwall), Shoreham (Brighton), Sandown (IoW), Shanklin (IoW), Newgale (West Wales), Rest Bay (Swansea, Wales), Machrihanish (West Scotland).
SAS’s service gives the public power to make informed decisions on how and when to use the water and help them avoid the threat of sewage pollution. SAS’s online map will automatically update whenever there is a CSO sewage spill and SMS text messages will be sent for free to anyone who has signed up for this service. Sign up at www.sas.org.uk or by texting SAS (beach name) to 64446 (messages are charged at your normal network rate, then alerts are received for free whenever they occur).
Beaches offering SAS’s Sewage Alert Service should be proud to provide beach users with increased confidence in their water quality. The absence of any sewage alerts means sewage hasn’t discharged recently, so no news is definitely good news! Unfortunately, beaches with CSOs but without the sewage alert service still offer beach users a lottery when it comes to water quality. There are approximate 22,000 CSOs around the UK.
SAS are working closely with Southern Water, Welsh Water, Wessex Water and South West Water. SAS commend these water companies for voluntarily informing SAS when their CSOs discharge sewage onto 55 beaches this year. Yorkshire Water has already committed to the 2012 bathing season and all water companies are welcome to join the programme. By 2015 SAS are aiming to offer real time sewage alerts for all bathing waters throughout the UK.
When texting 64446 to sign up for the Sewage Alert Service, ensure you text “SAS”, leave a space then type in the beach name as it appears below in upper case with the following number if relevant. For example text “SAS BOURNEMOUTH3″ for Bournemouth Fishermans Walk. (Your sign up text will be charged at normal network rates)
From May the 15th SAS’s real time sewage alert service will be live at the following beaches:
- BROADHAVEN Central (Wales)
- NEWGALE (Wales)
- MANORBIER (Wales)
- SANDOWN (IoW)
- VENTNOR (IoW)
- SHANKLIN (IoW)
- HAYLING Island Beachlands (South coast)
- BOGNOR Regis East (South Coast)
- LITTLEHAMPTON Coastguards (South coast)
- BOTNAY Bay (South East)
- JOSS Bay (South East)
- WESTBROOK Bay (South East)
- CLEVEDON (Bristol)
- WESTON1 Super Mare
- BURNHAM Jetty (nr Weston Super Mare)
- DUNSTER North West (Somerset North coast)
- Blue ANCHOR West (Somerset North coast)
- CHIRSTCHURCH Mudeford Sandbanks (Poole)
- Bournemouth Boscombe Pier
- Bournemouth Hengistbury West
- BOURNEMOUTH1 Pier
- POOLE1 Shore Road Beach
- WEYMOUTH Central
- Poole Harbour SANDBANKS
- SWANAGE Central (South coast)
- BOURNEMOUTH3 Fishermans Walk
- BRANKSOME Chine (nr Bouremouth)
This ground breaking information service receives no grant funding and relies on core SAS funds, which is largely membership subscriptions. So big thanks to all our members for helping to make real-time sewage warnings a reality. However we need to roll the scheme out across the country and we need YOUR help to achieve this, so join SAS now from just £1.25 a month!
South West Water’s beaches will join SAS’s real time sewage alert service in mid June and they include:
- BUDE (Cornwall)
- CRANTOCK (Cornwall)
- PORTHLEVEN (Cornwall)
- GODREVY (Cornwall)
- PORTHMINSTER (Cornwall)
- PORTHTOWAN (Cornwall)
- GYLLYngvase (Cornwall)
- POLZEATH (Cornwall)
- BANTHAM (Devon)
- CHALLABOROUGH (Devon)
- CROYDE Bay (Devon)
- WESTWARD Ho! (Devon)
- TUNNELS Beaches (Devon)
- BIGBURY-on-Sea North (Devon)
- WOOLACOMBE Village (Devon)
- BREAKWATER Beach (Torbay)
- MEADFOOT (Torbay)
- ODDICOMBE (Torbay)
- BROADSANDS (Torbay)
- PAIGNTON1 Paignton Sands (Torbay)
- PAIGNTON2 Preston Sands (Torbay)
- SALCOMBE South Sands (South Hams)
- BLACKPOOL Sands (Devon)
- DAWLISH Warren (Teignbridge)
For further information please contact Andy Cummins, Dom Ferris or Hugo Tagholm on tel: 01872 555950 or mobile: 07711 767548. You can also reach the team at [email protected] / [email protected] / [email protected]
Information is power, and SAS are giving power to the people. The power to make informed decision on how and when to use the water, armed with real time information on raw sewage discharges. Use our sewage alert service and you’ll have a better beach experience!
Andy Cummins, SAS Campaign Director