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UK expands text messaging for sewage spills

Sewage outlet and surfer © SAS




 

Environment News


16 more beaches can now offer free real time text warnings when sewage spills

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 22 June, 2011 : - - Surfers Against Sewage are pleased to welcome an extra 24 new beaches across Cornwall and Devon to their revolutionary Sewage Alert Service.  SAS have spent the past year working closely with South West Water (SWW), the Environment Agency (EA), local authorities and Visit Cornwall.  SAS commend SWW for voluntarily providing SAS with real time information on raw sewage discharges from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). 

There are now 44 beaches around England and Wales where SAS are providing free real time text message sewage alerts after raw sewage is discharged.  Sites included in the Sewage Alert Service offer surfers, water sports enthusiasts and beach users the best beach experience possible.      

Photocall:  TUESDAY, June 21st SAS campaigners, SWW, the EA and tourist leaders will welcome the south west beaches to the Sewage Alert Service at the Shoreline Café, Eastern Esplanade, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 6AG, from 10.30am to 12pm on Tuesday 21 June 2011 next to Paignton Sands – one of the beaches on the site included in the scheme.  SWW will also be launch a new website that promotes CSO discharges.

The new beaches in Cornwall and Devon are:

• Breakwater – Torbay (BF)
• Challaborough – South Hams (BF)
• Gyllyngvase – Cornwall (BF)
• Meadfoot – Torbay (BF)
• Paignton Sands – Torbay (BF)
• Preston Sands (Paignton) – Torbay (BF)
• Polzeath – Cornwall (BF)
• Porthminster – Cornwall (BF)
• Porthtowan – Cornwall (BF)
• Salcombe South Sands – South Hams (BF)
• Westward Ho! – Torridge (BF)
• Woolacombe Village – North Devon (BF)
• The Towans (Godrevy) – Cornwall
• Porthleven (West) – Cornwall
• Crantock – Cornwall
• Bude (Summerleaze) – Cornwall

(BF denotes Blue Flag)

During the April bank holidays SAS reps asked over 50 beach users at Porthtowan, Bude and Widemouth:  When untreated sewage is discharged at this beach do you believe you should be told?  100% of people asked wanted to be told. 

The Sewage Alert Service gives the public power to make an informed decision on how and when to use the water and helps them avoid the threat of sewage pollution.  SAS’s online map will automatically update whenever there is a CSO sewage spill and SMS text messages will be sent for free to anyone who has signed up for this service.  Sign up at sas.org.uk or by texting “SAS (beach name)” to 64446 (messages are charged at your normal network rate, then alerts are received for free whenever they occur).    

Visit Cornwall’s Director, Malcolm Bell says:  “We all know how the quality of our bathing waters has been transformed over the last 20 years. BeachLive and SAS’s text service are exciting new services which will give our visitors information they can use. It’s live information that will add to our world class beach management and our competitiveness as they won’t be getting this in any other European country this summer.” 

South West Water’s Operations Director, Stephen Bird says:  “We look forward to working with SAS on our new BeachLive service. We have invested £2 billion over 20 years on transforming bathing water quality and this should demonstrate that on a hour by hour basis as well as giving visitors information they can really use on any risks from overflows.”

Campaign Director Andy Cummins says:  “It’s great that local and visiting surfers, water sports enthusiasts and beach users throughout Cornwall and Devon can choose to use beaches that inform them immediately when raw sewage is discharged.  Ensure you’ve sign up for our free real time sewage text alerts and remember, no news is good news at these beaches.  

www.sas.org.uk/map

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Hugo Tagholm

Environment - Surfersvillage

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