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Surfers Against Sewage said some days were rendered "unswimmable". Picture: Alamy

UK - 'Unswimmable': Thousands of sewage pollution alerts on Britain's coast in last year

Parts of the coast were made "unswimmable" because of sewage pollution near beaches, Surfers Against Sewage claim.

They blame storm overflows, which send untreated sewage into the seas and rivers to stop drains overflowing in heavy rain, and claim the problem is getting worse.

The campaign group used data on notifications of sewage discharges issued by water companies and puts out a real-time sewage alert through a "safer seas and rivers service" to warn anyone using waterways and the sea about potential pollution.

Its report found 5,517 sewer overflow discharge notifications were issued by water companies for England and Wales in the year to September – up 87.6% on the 2020 figure of 2,941.

A total of 3,328 were issued in the summer bathing season, up from 1,195 in last year's report.

One in six days of that season were considered "unswimmable", campaigners said.

A total of 6,656 swimming days during that period were lost because notifications are kept live for two days to ensure the pollution has dispersed. That accounts for 16% of days in the bathing season.

Its report found 5,517 sewer overflow discharge notifications were issued by water companies for England and Wales in the year to September – up 87.6% on the 2020 figure of 2,941.

A total of 3,328 were issued in the summer bathing season, up from 1,195 in last year's report.

One in six days of that season were considered "unswimmable", campaigners said.

A total of 6,656 swimming days during that period were lost because notifications are kept live for two days to ensure the pollution has dispersed. That accounts for 16% of days in the bathing season.

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