Last weekend our Safer Seas Service surpass the 1,000th real-time pollution warning issued during the 2015 bathing season.
The Safer Seas Service is the original service developed to warn surfers, water users and beach goes when there was a pollution incident that could pose a health risk. We pass this information on, for free and in real-time because we believe everyone should be able to make an informed decision about how, where and when they use the sea.
The Safer Seas Service is also the greatest campaigning tool SAS has to combat the abuse of sewer overflows and stop the flow of untreated human sewage into the sea. At the end of the bathing season we will be presenting the Safer Seas Service findings to the UK Government with clearly identified areas for urgent action.
Below is a Q & A featured in the latest Pipeline on the service:
Q1 Describe the Safer Seas Service in one sentence.
The Safer Seas Service provides free, real-time information about pollution incidents and good water quality across 326 beaches in England and Wales.
Q2 Where do I access Safer Seas Service information?
Q3 Do I really need the Safer Seas Service?
During the 2014 bathing season (May 15th – Sept 30th) the Safer Seas Service responded to 1,557 pollution events; 786 raw human sewage spills from combined sewer overflows and 771 diffuse pollution predictions. The service sent over 212,000 free, real- time alerts in response to these pollution events guiding users to the safest and best beaches.
Q4 What’s new for the Safer Seas Service in 2015?
The service has more beaches over a wider geographical area, delivering a more sophisticated product by warning users about both untreated human sewage spills and potential diffuse pollution impacts at even more beaches.
Q5 Are surfers still getting ill?
The average surfer ingests almost 200ml of seawater per surf. If surfers are using polluted waters the chance of them becoming ill raises significantly! It’s no surprise that supporters continue to regularly report illnesses to SAS.
Q6 Is the Safer Seas Service just for surfers?
Anyone who users the sea should download the service, it’s free, easy to use and could prevent you, your friends and family from becoming ill.
Q7 What illnesses are associated with using polluted waters?
The most common afflictions are the ear, nose, eye and throat infections, whilst they can be uncomfortable, they aren’t life threatening. However, there’s also the risk of gastro enteritis, E.coli, hepatitis and much more. Find out more here.
Q8 Why are there no beaches in Scotland and Northern Ireland?
SAS have been working with both devolved administrations and have agreements in principle to support the Safer Seas Service in Northern Ireland, but progress is frustratingly slow. The Scottish government are less supportive.
Q9 The free, real-time information is great, but is it solving the problem?
Giving water users information so they can avoid pollution events is a fantastic step forward, driven by SAS. But the information isn’t just used to warn water users, SAS use the information to build cases for further intervention and additional solutions at priority beaches.
Q10 Remind me again, where do I download the Safer Seas Service from?
HERE! Do it now.