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Surfers Against Sewage are concerned to learn that Foundation of Environmental Education is considering rewriting the rulebook to relax regulations on sewage discharges from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). SAS’s directors are writing to the director of FEE calling for Blue Flag beach users to be protected from raw sewage discharges.


SAS have learned that FEE is considering amending the criteria that beaches have to meet to achieve the coveted Blue Flag status including watering down criterion 28 relating to real-time public warnings when raw sewage is discharged from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).

In August 2010 SAS exposed the vast number of UK Blue Flag beaches without warning systems to protect the public after sewage discharges. As a result of SAS’s campaigns, Keep Britain Tidy has now insisted on real-time warning systems at the UK’s Blue Flag beaches giving beach users the information to protect themselves from raw sewage discharges.

But this positive step forward in beach management will be completely undermined if FEE rewrites the rulebook watering down the regulations currently there to protect the public from direct contact with raw sewage. FEE also run the risk of devaluing the Blue Flag’s reputation and integrity around the world.

SAS are also calling its extensive and passionate supporter base to join the SAS directors in contacting FEE’s director Mr. Finn Bolding Thomsen urging him to keep the current regulations. This will ensure the public are always informed of sewage discharges at Blue Flag beaches helping protect them from potentially harmful pathogens like Hep A, Ecoli 0157, Gastro Enteritis and much more.

SAS Campaign Director, Andy Cummins says: “Beach users deserve real time warnings when raw sewage in the sea and premier Blue Flag beaches should lead the way with these systems. If FEE rewrites their own rulebook the devalue the Blue Flag should fly at half mast.”

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  • Biorock-UK

    It is disgusting that in 2010 the Water Companies are still allowed to pump raw sewage into the sea, particularly at seaside resorts like Scarborough.
    Kids play in the sea, swallow sea water, make sand castles and then eat their ice creams… It doesn’t bear thinking about.
    What is the point of buying products that ‘Kill 99% of all known germs’ to make your home safe and then taking the kids for a day at the sea side? The term ‘Sea-Sick’ takes on a whole new meaning!
    Perhaps the answer is to fill up a shallow tub with sand, another with water, put them in the garden, put the lollies in the freezer and don’t go to the seaside at all

  • Why is it that the Water Companies are allowed to discharge raw sewage into the Sea when no private individual would be allowed to?
    I run an environmental consultancy and our clients are not even allowed to discharge treated effluent from a full sewage treatment plant, no matter how clean it is; the Environment Agency will not give consent if the discharge is to bathing waters. This effluent is similar in quality to roofwater runoff, but still not good enough for the E.A.
    As the Water Companies are responsible for the majority of beach sewage contamination in the UK, they should NEVER have be allowed to install outfall pipes in the first place.