Drift speaks to Jim Heimann - cultural anthropologist, graphic design historian and author of a new publication TASCHEN's 365 Day-by-Day Surfing - a collection of vintage photographs and art works that will have you waxing nostalgic for bygone beach vibes.

A tale of surfing reefs in South Africa, but not knowing what you get yourself into. Drift contributor Tim Conibear points a finger at localism and finds three more pointing right back. Photos: Mike Reich

Using locally sourced timber and having designed a manufacturing process that minimises waste, Mike LaVecchia of Grain Surfboards has cornered the market in beautiful, sustainable wooden boards. And the best bit? They ride like a dream. Photos: Nick LaVecchia

From cliff-top vantage points to harbour hop-offs, beach-side hammocks to unglamorous car parks, Mat Arney raids his photo archive to document a different perspective in surfing

James Bowden kissed goodbye to Blighty and set off for Tasmania's wild in January this year. He shares some of his findings along the way with his own distinctive style.

Rebel wave riders on a mission to enlighten the Western world to the true culture of the Middle East, blakkbox redefine the notion of surfers as beach bums who only care about the next wave. Photos: Cole Estrada & Anthony Allen

Cyrus Sutton made an impression on the international film circuit with his 2003 breakthrough movie 'Riding Waves'. Now the EMMY award-winning documentary maker has turned his attention to the divergent surf scenes of Australia's Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Words: Tommy Leitch Photos: Courtesy of Cyrus Sutton

We're all aware of Rio de Janeiro and its most famous charms - the football, carnival, Sugarloaf, Copacabana, Caipirinhas, the girls, the parties - but what of the city's surfing and the culture associated with it? Drift checks out the stand out characteristics of 'the marvellous city'! Photography: Benoit Fournier / www.benoit-fournier.com

Homeless at fourteen, prison by eighteen, Jonny Gibbings endured a violent and difficult start to life, resulting in being illiterate until late teens. Now a published author Jonny talks to Drift and shares his lifelong passion for Surf.

Chris Preston chats to longboard maestro Steve Walden about his disappointment with the lack of recognition for the longboarding scene, what makes the Magic model magic, and working with GSI. Photos: Jamie Bott

Drift caught up with big-wave surfer Carlos Burle on home territory in Brazil to find out why he considers big-wave riding to be a playground for the few who have earned the privilege. Photos: Al McKinnon


UK raw sewage discharges illegal


October 23, 2012 | Words By: Hugo

SAS are today celebrating the decision of the European Courts of Justice ruling that Northumbrian Water and Thames Water are illegally discharging raw sewage via combined sewer overflows.


This ruling sets a precedent that will send shock waves around the UK water industry, highlighting the overuse of CSOs as a means to discharge untreated sewage onto UK beaches and into rivers. Thanks to data from its pioneering Sewage Alert Service, SAS are uniquely placed to identify further offending CSOs similarly breaching the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC) and will deliver this damning evidence to the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) later this year.

The Sewage Alert Service data collected to date shows that CSOs all around the UK are discharging with alarming frequency. In 2012 the Sewage Alert Service has sent over 100,000 free real time text messages warning water users when CSOs are discharging raw sewage at over 200 designated bathing waters. The Sewage Alert Service enjoys strong support from Defra Minister Richard Benyon and has even been replicated regionally by water companies.

Some of the beaches that SAS are immediately concerned about are:

Western Super Mare
Poole Sandbanks
Chirstchurch
Westward Ho! (Cornwall)
Newquay, Fistral (Cornwall)
Porthtowan (Cornwall)
St Agnes (Cornwall)
Bournemouth Pier
Saltburn (Cleveland)
Godrevy (Cornwall)

Water companies might try and defend current CSO discharge policies by quoting bathing water results however SAS believes these do not provide an adequate sampling regime to properly identify short term impacts from CSOs. Samples are only taken from May – September on a once weekly basis leaving a huge window of time where the impacts from CSO discharges can be missed. The bathing water samples spots are all too often placed as far away as possible from CSO discharges points, again weakening the value of results. In 2010 SAS worked on a water quality CSO pilot study with South West Water, Cornwall Council and the Environment Agency and identified multiple failing results at a beach that consistently meets the ‘higher’ guideline standards.

The European Union (EU) has the power to fine the UK thousands of pounds a day for not complying with EU directives. SAS is concerned that the lack of water company investment to resolve this problemwill now expose the bill payer to potential fines and necessary investment. The water industry makes billions of pounds in profits year on year and they should shoulder any financial burden for correcting their mistakes.

The SAS campaigns team would like to highlight the committed work of Whitburn resident Bob Latimer in ensuring the European Commission took this case forward. Without his commitment these abuses may never have come to light.

SAS supporter and local campaigner Bob Latimer says: “It’s been a long and hard campaign but an important one of the environment. I’ve been battling away on this campaign for many years. Government agencies have refused to answer my questions on this issue but with the help of SAS and the European Commission we have made sure the water companies have been held to account. I’m happy that Northumbrian Water will finally have to stop discharging raw sewage at Whitburn and I know SAS will be using this ruling to protect beaches all around the UK.”

SAS Campaign Director Andy Cummins says: “The European Courts of Justice ruling could bring in a real sea change for the UK’s coastal environment. The ramifications for every water company are immense. SAS are now compiling a dossier of dangerous CSOs and we will be calling for urgent action at every CSO we feel is breaching the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

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