Surfers Against Sewage
SAS is a marine conservation charity working with communities to protect oceans, waves, beaches and marine life. It was founded in 1990 by a group of Cornish surfers from the villages of St Agnes and Porthtowan on the north coast of Cornwall.
Not just surfers, not just sewage: our members are swimmers, dog walkers, paddleboarders, beach cleaners, kite surfers, sandcastle builders, ice cream eaters and sun bathers too. The Safer Seas Service continually monitors sewage spills in real time on beaches around the UK. But ‘Plastic is the new sewage, and that is now the No.1 priority. ref
Plastic-Free Communities is a network to free where we live from single-use plastics. Together, we are tackling avoidable single-use plastic, all the way back to the brands and businesses who create it. Wherever you live, whether you’re on shore or inland, urban or rural, high-tide or high-rise, we are uniting communities in the fight against single-use plastics. It’s not about removing all plastic from our lives. It’s about kicking our addiction to avoidable single-use plastic, and changing the system that produces it.ref
Resistance Against Single-Use Plastic: Ocean plastic pollution is one of the biggest global environmental threats of our age. It’s time to take a stand against throwaway plastic culture that is feeding the rise of Wasteland, a new "super-power" threatening the world. Wasteland is a 'continent' in the Pacific, made by us, and composed entirely of throwaway plastic.ref Watch the campaign film on YouTube.
#ReturnToOffender Campaign: How do we make big business take notice of the plastic pollution we’re finding on our beaches? We let them know! When you find plastic junk, take a pic and send it to them on social media with the location and #ReturnToOffender. Better still, send it back to their Freepost address with a note.ref
Break The Bag Habit coalition resulted in 6bn fewer bags being given out in the first 12 months after the 5p charge was introduced by the government on Oct.01.2015. But SMEs are exempted - why? We need a uniform scheme across business and devolved nations to avoid any confusion and to maximise the benefits for the environment. ref
Safer Seas Service
The free Safer Seas Service app monitors 330 beaches across England & Wales to help protect you, your friends and family from the risks of mixing with raw sewage and diffuse pollution. You can sign up to your favourite beaches anywhere, and you will be sent notifications of any pollution incidents.
Untreated sewage and wastewater frequently discharges from sewer overflows, sometimes significantly reducing water quality. When this reaches dangerous levels, SAS is notified by participating water companies and issues a real-time sewage alert so surfers and other beach users can avoid this potentially harmful pollution incident. The SAS app means you can make an informed decision about whether you want to go in the water on that day.link The Safter Seas Service also offers an interactive map, plotting combined sewage overflows around the UK coastline and beaches. link
Combined Sewer Overflows: after heavy rain or a sharp increase in use, sewerage infrastructure can become overrun. Treatment plants can't then process everything coming through, so they get bypassed, and the raw effluent is sometimes released via CSOs, ie. into the environment, carrying waste towards the ocean. Although CSOs are regulated and operate under licence, action is retrospective.
Currently, water quality is only required to be tested during the official bathing season; from May until September which means there is no official sampling on water quality for the rest of the year.
UK water companies spend over £88m every year to clear sewer blockages, 80% of which are caused by misuse of toilets as a wet bin. ref https://www.sas.org.uk/our-work/water-quality