Sewage discharge map shows UK beaches it is unsafe to swim at due to sewage in the sea

Surfers Against Sewage’s map show beaches where it is unsafe to swim in the UK

It is currently unsafe to swim at a number of beaches across the country due to sewage spills, a map from a campaign group revealed.

Surfers Against Sewage have put together a map of recent sewage discharge which shows the quality of water in your area - and if it is currently polluted.

A number of beaches across the UK are currently deemed unsafe to swim at due to recent pollution.

It comes as Labour has accused the Government of allowing water companies to “cut corners”.

Here is all you need to know:

How did my MP vote on sewage?

MPs voted recently on the discharge of raw sewage into rivers and seas in October 2021.

A proposal from the Lords to the Environment Bill that would have placed legal duties on the companies to reduce discharges was defeated by 265 MPs’ votes to 202.

Where is it unsafe to swim in the UK?

Surfers Against Sewage’s map shows the areas with poor water quality due to sewage spills.

The full map is available on the group’s website, it is updated regularly - here is the latest as of17 September.

Our sister website Sussex World reported on local fury at sewage being pumped into water near beaches last week.

SEAFORD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: A jetty beneath which raw sewage had been reportedly been discharged after heavy rain on August 17, 2022 in Seaford, England. The Environment Agency has issued pollution alerts across the UK after recent heavy rainfall and flooding have affected water quality. Sewers overflow into the sea and rivers when treatment plants are overwhelmed by torrential rain otherwise it would spill into streets or back up into toilets. Environmental campaign group Surfers Against Sewage reported that raw sewage had been released into the waters at beaches in Sussex, Cornwall, Devon, Essex, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Cumbria. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The areas that are currently unsafe as of 17 September

Cumbria

  • Walney Biggar Bank - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours
  • Walney Sandy Gap - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours
  • Walney West Shore - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours

Cornwall

  • Gyllyngvase Beach - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours

Devon

  • Combe Martin - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours

Hampshire and Isle of Wight

  • Bembridge - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours
  • Seagrove - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours
  • St Helens - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours

Sussex

  • Bexhill - Pollution Risk Warning: Bathing not advised today due to the likelihood of reduced water quality
  • Hove Lawn - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours
  • Lancing, Beach Green - Pollution Risk Warning: Bathing not advised today due to the likelihood of reduced water quality
  • Saltdean - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours
  • Seaford - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours
  • Shoreham Beach - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours
  • Southwick - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours
  • Worthing - Pollution Risk Warning: Bathing not advised today due to the likelihood of reduced water quality

Teesside

  • Seaton Carew North - Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours

Who are Surfers Against Sewage?

On its webste SAS says: “We’re a community dedicated to the protection of oceans, waves, beaches and wildlife. We fight long and hard to protect what we love and we won’t stop until it’s completely clean, safe and protected for everyone, forever.

“From humble beginnings in Porthtowan Village Hall in 1990, we’ve stayed close to our roots and continue to be based just up the road at our St Agnes HQ where we can keep an eye on the sea.

“Just 20 of us work in the office full time, but it’s really thanks to people like you who support our work through membership donations, volunteering, signing petitions, buying from our shop and spreading the word that allows our impact to be widely felt.”

Government defend ‘cruel joke’ sewage spill plan

The Environment Secretary has defended the Government’s new plan to crack down on damaging sewage spills after critics branded the proposals a “cruel joke”.

George Eustice said he was the first Secretary of State to “really grip” the issue after ministers announced water companies will be expected to invest £56 billion over 25 years to combat the impact of storm overflows on England’s seas and rivers.

But the proposals have drawn criticism from conservation campaigners, who claim the plan aims merely to “claw its way back to what should have already been ‘business as usual’”.

The Government said firms will face new targets to “revolutionise our sewer system”, including improving all overflows releasing into, or near, every designated bathing water, and 75% of those discharging to high priority sites, by 2035.

By 2050, no storm overflows will be permitted to operate outside of unusually heavy rainfall or to cause any adverse ecological harm.

But The Rivers Trust accused ministers of a “lack of ambition and clarity for the sector”.

“Far from revolutionising the sewer system, as the plan claims, this plan aims to claw its way back to what should have already been ‘business as usual’ by 2050 – with sewer overflows operating only during exceptional rainfall events by that time,” the charity said.

Advocacy and engagement director Christine Colvin added: “The requirement for this plan in the Environment Act gave Government a great opportunity to right the wrongs on weak regulation and get on the front foot.

“It should have presented an open goal for a fresh start to stop sewage pollution in my lifetime. Instead, they’ve scored an own goal.”