What is the Safer Seas Service?
The award winning Safer Seas Service 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 at over 370 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 2020?
Tell us if you got sick after entering the Sea – if you have been made sick from surfing, swimming, sailing, SUP-ing etc you can now submit a Health Report through the app to help with our water quality campaigning.
Highlight the issue of water quality to local politicians – you can now email the local MP directly from the Safer Seas Service when sewage is being discharged or there is an increased risk of pollution at a location in their constituency.
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 Service so surfers, swimmers and other beach 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