Posts Tagged ‘sewage’

AVON ESTUARY WATER QUALITY

Click on the following link for an updated message about the estuary’s water quality, biosecurity, etc.

Water quality – November 2018e

WILD SWIMMING DANGERS

The Devon Avon is becoming increasingly popular for outdoor or ‘wild’ swimming but many swimmers seem oblivious to the dangers posed by their poor visibility to power boat owners, in particular.  If you are wearing a dark wet suit, you will be almost invisible to boat users down at water level, especially if the water is choppy.  Please consider your personal safety when swimming in open water that is used for other recreational activities.   Although organised events such as the Bantham ‘Swoosh’ are well organised and supervised from a safety viewpoint, wild swimming websites generally offer extensive personal safety advice (see, for example, http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/health-safety/ ) with surprisingly little mention made of the need to make yourself visible by wearing brightly coloured headgear, for example.

Swimmers personal safety is their own responsibility.

MICROPLASTICS AND MARINE LITTER – TALK

Nigel Mortimer of the AONB has sent this message and link to a recent talk by Prof Richard Thompson.:-

During Science Week, earlier this year, I invited you to a couple of talks on plastics ‘The Good, the Bad & the Ugly’ kindly hosted by the Kingsbridge Community College.

Professor Richard Thompson from Plymouth University was one of the two excellent speakers, talking on “Marine Litter: are there solutions to this global environmental problem ?”

Professor Thompson gave a very similar talk to members of the Marine Biological Association last Friday and due to Global demand, the talk was recorded. If you’d like to watch it yourself, here is the link;

www.mba.ac.uk/2016/11/16/microplastics-talk-by-richard-thompson

Richard spoke to the ACA some years ago but his story about microplastics has moved on somewhat since then.  I attended the talk at Kingsbridge College referred to by Nigel and found it fascinating.   An outline is provided below.:-
Marine Litter is a global environmental problem with consequences for human health, the economy and wildlife.  This litter is pervasive throughout our oceans form the poles to the equator and from sea surface and shoreline to the deep sea. It is hazardous to seafarers resulting in unnecessary coastguard and rescue callouts and has substantial economic consequences for the local authorities responsible for clean-up. Perhaps most widely documented are encounters with wildlife which can result in direct harm and death. Well over 600 species of marine organisms are reported to encounter marine litter and the majority of these encounters are with plastic items.

However, marine litter is an environmental problem that can be solved. The majority of the items that become marine litter are single use disposable items including packaging and sewage related debris. Such items can bring considerable societal benefit, for example in terms of food security and light weighting to reduce fuel usage, however these benefits can all be realised without the need for any  emissions of litter to the ocean.  Hence the long term solutions lie in recognising that if designed, used and disposed of appropriately, then end-of-life items that currently accumulate in waste management facilities and as litter in the natural environment can be used as a resource for production of new products. Working toward a circular economy of this kind will help reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources and simultaneously reduce the quantity of waste requiring disposal.

SURFERS AGAINST SEWAGE CAMPAIGN

The ACA supports the SAS campaign to clean our seas and estuaries of sewage-related materials.  The following message was received from SAS on 23rd May 2016:-

Today, we’re taking your support for the Sewage Free Seas campaign to Westminster with us to be presented to the Environment Agency at our All Party Parliamentary Group. Your support joins 13,000 fellow ocean enthusiasts, surfers, water users and environmentalists calling for Sewage Free Seas. This huge response, in just six weeks, shows just how concerned coastal communities are about sewage pollution at our beaches.
We will make the case for Sewage Free Seas on behalf of you and all our supporters, calling for the Environment Agency and water companies to stop sewage pollution ruining some of the nation’s best beaches.
The meeting will bring together Members of Parliament to hear evidence from speakers from the European Centre for the Environment & Human Health, surf industry leaders, Surfing GB, the shellfish industry, the Marine Conservation Society and Leah.  Leah is a young surfer who fell seriously ill after surfing at her favourite spot whilst a sewer overflow, hidden upstream, discharged untreated human sewage into the sea.
We rely on the support of our members to enable us to campaign for Sewage Free Seas at the highest level.  Supporting Surfers Against Sewage with a regular donation is the best way you can help us achieve our long term vision of a clean, safe and protected ocean environment.  Please join us today, for just £2 a month.
We’ll email you again after the All Party Parliamentary Group to let you know the outcomes and what that means for protecting your health and our special beaches.
Thanks again for your support
Team SAS

New Bantham owner decries permitted sewage bypasses into Devon Avon

Nicholas Johnston, the new owner of the Bantham Estate, has expressed his support for the long-maintained view of the ACA that the 10 permitted releases of raw sewage into the Avon from the Aveton Gifford sewage treatment works after heavy rainfall should be stopped.  At present, the releases are made without any warning to the public despite the increased recreational use of the river.   For the full story, see this link -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-32717287