Surfers Against Sewage launch new sewage detection app
A St Agnes charity has today launched a ground-breaking new mobile phone application (app) which identifies sewage contamination on UK beaches.
The Surfers Against Sewage free mobile phone app uses real time updates to tell beach users if untreated sewage or storm water has been discharged in to a specific beach area.
Currently the sewage alert service app covers around 250 of the UK's beaches, with every water company in England and Wales providing information to the charity.
Water Minister, Richard Benyon MP, said: "This innovative app will make it much easier for people to find real time information on water quality and to make well informed choices about where to swim.
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"Improving bathing water quality is a priority for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and we are continuing to work closely with the Environment Agency to improve the nation's beaches."
Water quality is reduced when combined sewage systems significantly overflow in to the sea.
Swallowing or swimming in contaminated sea water can pose a range of health risks from mild ear, nose and throat infections to gastroenteritis and, in rare cases, hepatitis.
Surfers Against Sewage Campaign Director, Andy Cummins said: "The Sewage Alert Service app informs surfers and beach users of a short term sewage discharge in real time.
"This truly is an innovative concept achieved thanks to years of campaigning against secretive combined sewage overflow discharges from water companies."
The app also contains information about how to reduce beach pollution and links to surf report sites.