A (hopefully) thought-provoking blog about surfing and the sea which has been on holiday to Wavedreamer but has now returned. Please go there for old posts. I'm also a contributor to The Inertia and tweet @aPhilosurfer.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

A 25th birthday present for SAS...or back to the 90s?

SAS Campaigners with their inflatable turd in the 1990s. From SAS website
After a fantastic 25 years of Surfers Against Sewage campaigning for clean seas, it's most fitting that a revised Bathing Water Directive comes into force this year. This means that it will be harder for beaches to pass the minimum tests and to reach the top European standard. It also means more beaches will fail the new tests. Good things about the Directive mean that test reults will be posted on an Environment Agency website within 24 hours and Councils should tell people not to bathe when a beach has failed.

But...but, but  the tests are still only done May to September, do not necessarily reflect where people surf and some water companies refuse to use automatic monitors to let us know when combined sewers are operating because there isn't a 'Blue Flag' beach nearby. Also, if a beach fails a test because of heavy rain and overflowing combined sewers, the results can be discounted (up to a certain number of times in any year).

So there are still potentially lots of battles for SAS to fight - for tighter standards, year round testing, testing where surfers and other water-users need it and less flexibility to ignore bad results.

It looks like SAS will still need that inflatable turd after all.

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