An app that gives bathers and surfers real-time warnings about contamination incidents on beaches has been launched. The free service sends alerts or text messages about discharges of manure and storm water at nearly 250 beaches in England and Wales. It was formed in response to concerns about a rise in sewage spills, which can cause illnesses for beach-goers.
The service works by sending out alerts to users when contamination
reaches unsafe levels and the information is posted online.
It was developed by the charitable trust Surfers against Sewage (SAS) and funded by the Environment Agency. Last year's washout summer led to a rise in UK beaches failing to meet minimum values for water quality, while the sum of bathing spots which met the maximum levels for hygiene fell. The app accesses data from water companies on combined sewer overflows, which allow untreated sewage and storm water into the sea in periods of heavy rain to avert sewers backing up.