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Swim England ‘pleased to see progress’ as it joins #EndSewagePollution coalition

A coalition of organisations committed to campaigning for improvements to UK water quality have welcomed an announcement from the Government’s Storm Overflow Taskforce.

Swim England recently joined the #EndSewagePollution coalition, which sees organisations, environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs), local campaign groups, national governing bodies, media and ocean activists combine forces.

The announcement from the Government’s taskforce sets out their first steps towards eliminating pollution caused from storm overflows.

These steps include water companies making real-time data on sewage discharges available at bathing sites all year round.

Water companies will also have to publish on their websites how many times they have used combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to pump raw sewage into the environment each year.

The positive strides come as a result of great work that organisations such as Surfers Against Sewage and others have done and continue to do.

Swim England looks forward to playing a part in trying to secure further progress, for instance through its backing of the ‘Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill’ introduced by MP Philip Dunne.

The Bill places a duty on water companies to ensure that untreated sewage is not discharged into rivers and other inland waters.

Fight is far from over

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said: “We are pleased to see that progress is being made and congratulations to all the organisations for their hard work to obtain this victory.

“However, the fight is far from over and we look forward to providing support towards this vital work to help improve the quality of our waterways.”

Amy Slack, Head of Campaigns and Policy at Surfers Against Sewage, said: “We welcome the announcement from the Storm Overflows Taskforce as their first step in helping to tackle Sewage Pollution.

“We are especially happy to see water companies commit to provide real time monitoring data all year round. This is vital to allow water users to make informed decisions about when and where they choose to surf or swim.

“The announcement however falls short of the calls that almost 50,000 of us made to the Government as part of our #EndSewagePollution petition.

“If we really are going to eliminate the harm caused by sewage pollution we need to see rapid action from government, business and regulators to eliminate the long term causes of pollution.”