* Cleanzine_logo_3a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 21st September 2023 Issue no. 1081

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Over the 20 years we've been broadcasting Cleanzine, I've occasionally written about our world’s coastlines and beaches - generally when I've received press information regarding individual countries' performances in terms of keeping these areas clean, hygienic and safe for the general public. And it’s pleased me that Britain has boasted some of the cleanest beaches and waters in the world. Not so now though, with reports surfacing this year of almost wanton devastation caused by persistent flouting of the regulations, by water companies pumping enormous volumes of untreated sewage into our seas along with storm overflows. Surfers Against Sewage released its latest Water Quality Report at midnight. It makes damning – and frightening - reading. In response, a spokesperson at Water UK, (www.water.org.uk) said:

"Companies agree there is an urgent need to tackle storm overflows. They are set to launch one of the country's largest ever infrastructure programmes, which, if approved by regulators, will deliver £56bn of improvements for our rivers and seas. To accelerate progress further, we need Government to end housing developers' uncontrolled connections to sewers without first knowing their capacity, and to end the flushing of wet wipes made from materials that cause blockages and fatbergs. Both are major causes of sewer overloading and spills. We also need Government to implement existing legislation, to increase the use of sustainable drainage systems on new developments as a means of reducing the volume of rainwater entering the sewer system."

Publicity over the damage the flushing of wet wipes can inflict has been pretty emphatic but the message clearly isn’t getting across to consumers. Should our industry be leading the way perhaps by flooding our various domestic markets with sensibly priced and clearly labelled flushable wet wipes - or isn’t this viable? And can we do more, as individuals who know about these things, to educate our families and friends on the hazards of flushing wet wipes and pouring fats, oils and grease into our toilets and sinks? I’m well aware from conversations I’ve had, that most people are blissfully unaware of the issues.

Surfers Against Sewage says that untreated sewage has been poured into the UK's bathing waters 5,504 times this Summer, and that while water companies are only allowed to discharge sewage in 'extreme rainfall' conditions, it’s found evidence of potential illegal activity where they've been dumping raw sewage when there's no rain. Do please read the report at https://sas.org.uk/waterquality2022/introduction/introduction/#top and help spread the word.



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Jan Hobbs

24th November 2022

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