What is the Safer Seas & Rivers Service?
Our award-winning, free to use app is the only national real-time water quality service that protects all water users from pollution. The pioneering service alerts water users when sewer overflows discharge untreated human sewage into the sea and when water quality is temporarily reduced due to heavy rainfall and pollution incidents.
Covering over 390 beaches across England, Scotland and Wales, this information empowers you to make an informed decision about how, when and where you use the sea. The app also includes complementary beach information; including real-time surf conditions, tide times, beach activities, nearby facilities and lifeguard services.
What’s New for 2021?
The app now covers a number of rivers and streams where water quality data is available. These include: Ilkley on the River Wharf, Warleigh Weir on the River Avon, Dee River in Wales as well as Seatown, Swanage Ulwell, Charmouth West, Eypemouth and Bowleaze Cove streams. We’re hoping to add more soon.
As well as being able to email your MP to highlight pollution alerts in your area, you can now send your thoughts and demands straight to the CEO of your local water company. Direct action, from your phone.
We’ve made it even easier to report any illness after time spent in the sea. Submit a health report through the Safer Seas & Rivers Service app. We’ll use your entries to:
- Show evidence of the impact of sewage discharges on human health
- Build our case against water company’s seedy activities
- Take our case to government and demand tough action is taken
How Does It Work?
Untreated sewage and wastewater frequently discharges from thousands of sewer overflows around the UK, sometimes significantly reducing water quality. When these events occur, Surfers Against Sewage is automatically notified by the water company and issues a real-time sewage alert through the Safer Seas & Rivers Service so surfers, swimmers and other water users can avoid this potentially harmful pollution incident.
Water quality can also be reduced by heavy rainfall causing the input of multiple, often unidentified pollution sources, including road, urban and agricultural run-off and leakage from septic tanks. When these sources combine, they can often have a significant impact on water quality. The app includes daily pollution risk forecasts made by the Environment Agency, NRW and SEPA for 200 locations across the UK.
A ‘lite’ version of the service is also available as an online map