A motion being debated at Cornwall Council this week called for an end to all sewage discharges affecting bathing waters, shellfish harvesting areas and high-priority nature sites by 2030.
The Marine Conservation Society is taking the government [specifically the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] to court “as a result of their failure to address the sewage pollution scandal facing English shores”:
Meanwhile, another branch of government is saying there’s nothing to worry about:
Beaches in Devon and Cornwall which are monitored for bathing water quality are 100% compliant with quality standards, a government agency has said. The Environment Agency said the 148 monitored beaches had “broken records” for water quality standards for the second year running. The Environment Agency report followed concerns being raised about water quality at several South West beaches. Managers added the next challenge was to “work collaboratively” to keep our waters “in an excellent state”.
Earlier this week, Cornwall Council voted to tell South West Water to urgently address the impact of waste water discharges. However, the utility company said it was “delighted” that waters had met the EA’s quality standards and it knew it must “maintain this progress as well as go further and faster to protect the natural environment”.
However, not everyone is convinced:
The campaign group [Surfers Against Sewage] responded to the findings in a post on its social media page which said: “The Environment Agency has released annual classifications for designated bathing waters in England. Bathing sites are still not all achieving the top standard. We’re not keen to celebrate. Did you know that when deciding classifications – water samples are disregarded if water quality has been affected by pollution. 97% of bathing waters met minimum standards in 2022, but only 72% achieved a standard of Excellent.”
Last week’s report from SAS showed that ‘dry spills’ by water companies were anything but ‘clean’:
And today, there are demands for something to be done:
Cornwall Councillors in the Post area are calling for tougher action to crack down on water companies and farmers polluting Cornish rivers and beaches. A motion being debated at Cornwall Council this week called for an end to all sewage discharges affecting bathing waters, shellfish harvesting areas and high-priority nature sites by 2030.