Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is calling on the UK surfing and recreational water sports community to support their calls for a longer bathing season, during which beach water quality is monitored to protect the health of those using it and to safeguard the environment.
Thanks in large part to SAS campaigns, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has recently opened a new online consultation on the length of the bathing season and associated implications for water quality, protecting human health and the environment.
The bathing season is the only time of the year when beaches designated as bathing waters have their water quality monitored and published. The bathing season in England currently runs from May 15th until September 30th, but SAS has consistently called for an extension to better protect surfers, bathers and the coastal environment. There’s advice on how best to answer the consultation on the SAS website – www.sas.org.uk.
Surfers Against Sewage is encouraging the public to support an extension of the bathing season, especially for important and well-used recreational waters, including important surf spots. A longer season would deliver significant advantages including:
Improved water quality thanks to restrictions of raw sewage and stormwater discharges from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) within the bathing season.
Increased public information on water quality, allowing water users to make informed decisions about how, when and where they use the sea. Environment Agency water quality test results are posted throughout the bathing season.