Surfers Against Sewage and East coast water users have welcomed the decision to extend full ultra violet (UV) sewage treatment at Cleethorpes and Humberston to protect recreational water users and the local marine environment.
Following a concerted SAS clean water campaign involving SAS’s local Regional Reps and strong support from the East coast surfing community, the Environment Agency has finally requested that Anglian Water maintains full UV sewage treatment from March to November, protecting recreational water users from sewage-related pathogens for an additional 19 weeks compared to the current treatment period. This almost doubles the current duration of full sewage treatment to safeguard the health of local surfers and water users, which will come into force from April 2016.
Previously, Anglian Water was permitted to switch off ultra violet sewage treatment outside the bathing season, which runs from May 15th to the end of September. Removing this level of sewage treatment significantly reduces water quality and increases the number of potentially harmful pathogens entering the marine environment, raising the health risk to water users.
- 2010 – Surfers Against Sewage approached Anglian Water to request that UV sewage treatment be maintaind year round to protect the local marine environment and the thriving surf communities in the region.
- 2010 – Surfers Against Sewage took a delegation of water users to the 4th European Water and Wastewater Management Conference in Leeds to reinforce the importance of year round UV sewage treatment to protect water users.
- 2010 – Surfers Against Sewage began lobbying the Environment Agency, the regulators responsible for water quality testing and the associated licenses.
- 2011 & 2012 – With support from the local water sports community, led by SAS Regional Rep Chris McClean and Extreme Horizon’s Matt Strathern, SAS collected evidence of the numbers of water users in local line-ups throughout the year to demonstrate the need for increased UV treatment. Regular surveys were carried out at Cleethorpes, Humberston & Mablethorpe.
- 2011 & 2012 – During this period the Environment Agency also continued sampling outside the bathing season to identify the associated environmental impacts of UV treatment turn-offs.
- 2012 – 2013 – Survey identified significant numbers of water users at both Cleethorpes and Humberston during the months of October, November, March and April. The Environment Agency produced a report suggesting the water quality at the Mablethorpe wasn’t reduced by removing UV sewage treatment out of season.
- 2014 – 2015 – Environment Agency Conclusions – They identified Poor/Failing out of bathing season water quality at both Cleethorpes and Humberston Fitties, as compared to the Revised Bathing Water Directive standards. They also find evidence that Newton Marsh sewage treatment works significantly affects water quality in this area when UV is not in operation. There is also evidence to support that there is medium to high water usage during the months of October, November, March and April. It was concluded that additional UV is required at Newton Marsh sewage treatment works during the months of October, November, March and April (in addition to in the bathing water season), to protect surfers and other users of the bathing waters. In its Business Plan for 2015-2020 Anglian Water proposed investment for UV at Newton Marsh sewage treatment works. This Business Plan was approved by Ofwat in December 2014 and implementation of the additional UV treatment at Newton Marsh is expected in April 2016.
Download the full report East Coast EA UV Summary Update Jan 2015.
Water quality at UK beaches is still one of the major battlegrounds for Surfers Against Sewage. Sewage contamination from sewer overflows and diffuse pollution remain two of the most serious water quality threats at popular bathing waters, surf spots and recreational coastal sites right around the UK.
For real-time water quality information, download the Safer Seas Service today.