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Live news updates: UK public health body calls for upgrade to sewage system as beaches close

© Surfers Against Sewage

The UK’s public health body has known as for the necessity to modernise the sewage system after many beaches closed when heavy rainfall prompted water corporations to dump waste into the ocean.

“We need a sewage system fit for the 21st century that stops discharging sewage wherever possible,” stated Jim McManus, president of the UK’s Association of Directors of Public Health.

McManus, in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday, warned of ear and eye infections and even hepatitis A being contracted in soiled water. “There are health impacts being seen and sometimes you see GPs reporting on those every year.”

Wales in the meantime declared a drought on Friday and banned hosepipe use in some elements of the nation for the primary time in 40 years.

Natural Resources Wales stated the area had acquired 65.5 per cent of its common rainfall for July, placing a pressure on public water provides in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.

The Environment Agency issued air pollution alerts for greater than 15 beaches this week, whereas eight bathing websites alongside the Sussex coast had been closed after Southern Water dumped wastewater there.

Regulations enable water corporations to discharge wastewater and untreated sewage into the ocean by way of mixed sewage overflows, which maintain waste together with extra rainwater.

Southern Water and South West Water are among the many poorest performers. Southern Water, which serves almost 5mn folks in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, was final yr fined a report £90mn after pleading responsible to 1000’s of air pollution discharges within the 5 years to 2015.

The efficiency of water corporations on sewage administration has fallen to its worst stage in a decade, the Environment Agency stated in its annual report final month.

The company known as for “prison sentences for chief executives and board members whose companies are responsible for the most serious incidents”, including that firm administrators needs to be “struck off so they cannot move on in their careers after illegal environmental damage”.

“Our rivers and beaches are once again being treated as open sewers,” the activist group Surfers Against Sewage stated on Twitter. “Years of underinvestment is now in plain sight.”

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