Clean water campaigners Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) are relieved to announce that the Ultra Violet (UV) treatment that renders sewage clean and safe has once again been turned back on at the popular Pease Bay, in time for the Scottish Bathing Season. SAS campaigners will be opening the beach with MSP John Lamont by cutting a giant ribbon.
Scottish Water turn off the UV treatment of the sewage discharged at Cove sewage treatment works sewage outside the bathing season. Turning off the UV treatment will result in an immense increase in the bacterial load of the sewage effluent discharged into the sea. Pathogens that can cause Hepatitis A, Ecoli 0157H, Gastro Enteritis and much more are found in sewage. Cove is adjacent to Pease Bay and the bathing season starts on the 1st of June and runs until the 15th of September.
SAS has tried to work with Scottish Water but continues to have emails and phone messages ignored. SAS are now calling on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to require Scottish Water to keep the level of sewage treatment at a tertiary level (by keeping UV on) all year round, and so protecting the health of the significant number of water users using Pease throughout the year. This would bring Scotland into line with England and Wales where the Environment Agency requires the water companies to prove an absence of water users and an absence of impact on water quality before permitting a reduction in sewage treatment outside the bathing season.
Pease Bay is one of Scotland’s most popular surf spots. It also enjoys the best surf outside the bathing season, so the risk to the health of surfers and waveriders is of major concern for SAS. SAS are calling on SEPA to undertake an independent survey into the numbers of water users at Pease Bay outside the bathing season and investigate the impact on water quality by reducing the sewage treatment. Until we have this information SAS are urging SEPA to recommend Scottish Water protects the health of the water users by having year round full sewage treatment.
Surfers Against Sewage Edinburgh Rep Alasdair Steele says: “Finally the sewage treatment has been switched back on to an adequate level. But it’s appalling Scottish Water aren’t doing all they can to protect the health of water users at one of Scotland’s most popular surfing beaches. It’s now time for SEPA to step in and regulate this outrageous situation.”
John Lamont, MSP for Roxburgh and Berwickshire said: “I welcome the news that the water treatment levels have now been restored to bathing standards. This is great news for surfers and swimmers alike. However, the need for Scottish Water to maintain their sewage treatment throughout the year remains and is something which I want to see as soon as possible.”
For more information please contact Andy Cummins on 01872 555 950 or 07711 767 548 or email [email protected]
Notes To Editor:
The health risks associated with bathing in sewage-polluted waters include:
Ecoli 0157 H
Mild or influenzal typhodial illness