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Tide of Discontent: Surfers Rally Against Sewage in Southwick

Environmental activists from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) mobilised for a major demonstration this Saturday, January 6th, at Southwick’s Kingston Beach, to protest against Southern Water’s ongoing discharge of untreated sewage into the Adur estuary. The rally is scheduled to take place at noon near the outfall just east of the Kingston Beach car park.

This action comes in response to Southern Water’s reported dumping of untreated wastewater for nearly 200 hours since Christmas at the Combined Sewer Outfall at The Green, Southwick. The estuary, adjacent to the popular Kingston Beach, is a favored spot for swimmers throughout the year, with its usage peaking during the rough winter months.

Photo – Surfers Against Sewage

SAS estimates that the volume of sewage released since Christmas is equivalent to over three Olympic-sized swimming pools. The group expresses grave concerns about the potential health risks posed to the public, particularly as there have been no official warnings issued by Adur Council, Southern Water, or the Environment Agency.

The campaigners are demanding immediate action, including:

  1. Southern Water to cease sewage dumping immediately.
  2. Adur District Council and the Environment Agency to issue ‘bathe at your own risk’ warnings.
  3. The Environment Agency to disclose if it was informed of any faults in the wastewater infrastructure, as required by the Environmental Permit, and outline its enforcement actions.
  4. Adur District Council to begin the process of designating Kingston Beach as an official bathing beach.

In the meantime, SAS advises swimmers, surfers, and canoeists in the Adur estuary to exercise extreme caution. They recommend using the Safer Seas and River Service app for updates and reporting any illness related to water activities. The group also urges the public to voice their concerns by contacting their local MP and the CEO of Southern Water.

This demonstration is a part of a broader effort by environmental groups to hold water companies accountable and to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the UK’s beloved beaches and waterways.

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