Clean water campaigners from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) are urging all water users to watch Panorama this Monday the 7th of September, BBC1 at 8.30pm. SAS have helped the Panorama team expose the shocking truth that after heavy rain, raw sewage is consistently discharging into our rivers, seas and bathing waters without warning to the public and water users.
SAS Campaign manager Andy Cummins features heavily in the programme and captures the most outrageous footage of a Combined Sewage and Stormwater Overflow drain (CSO) discharging raw sewage into a river. This is the first time this disgusting practice has been highlighted, and was a scene that Andy Cummins captured repeatedly throughout summer 2009.
This summer especially, SAS has received a disturbing amount of medical complaints from water users all over the UK and this programme will help SAS ensure that water users are aware that after periods of heavy rain, water quality can be dramatically reduced.
The Panorama team commissioned their own tests – carried out by Plymouth Marine Laboratory – at bathing waters impacted by these CSOs and discovered traces of the potentially deadly strains of Ecoli 0157:H7 amongst other worrying pathogens. SAS are extremely concerned that these scandalous results were found at beaches that were achieving an excellent water quality result from the Environment Agency’s testing.
The Panorama team put these alarming findings to water companies and the Environment Agency and helped SAS exposes the shortcomings in our sewerage system. It makes for compelling viewing for everyone, but compulsive viewing for anyone who uses the UKs rivers and seas.
Surfers Against Sewage Campaign Manager Andy Cummins says: “These disgusting discharges of raw sewage are a major health risk to water users and Panorama has done a great job in helping SAS get the message out that after periods of heavy rain water quality can be dramatically reduced. Now this information is out there, water users can make an informed decision before exposing themselves to potentially bacteria and viruses.”
To find out about CSO’s in your area check out the ‘What’s in your Backyard’ section of the Environment Agency website