Wild swimmers are getting sick from sewage, campaigners say

About. sharing

Alexander. Ward caught suspected Weil’s affliction from a river in Cambridgeshire
By Charlie Jones
BBC News, East

Wild swimmers are increasingly getting sick from sewage pumped into rivers and seas, in accordance to an environmental charity.

Photographer Alexander Ward had no idea he was putting himself at chance when he entered the River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire last September

He. was taking photos of wild swimmers for a project and did not realise he had a minimize on his leg

After. creating flu symptoms, the 38-year-old, from Tattingstone, Suffolk, phoned NHS 111, who informed him to go to hospital urgently

Doctors. mentioned he had suspected leptospirosis, also known as Weil’s affliction. They put him in isolation and gave him antibiotics for two days

“It. was rather scary and since then I have by no means gone into clean water again,” he mentioned.

“I only go in salt water now and it tends to be at neighborhood spots the place I know they are not directly shut to sewage outlets

“I’m. really acutely aware of that”

Alexander. took photos of wild swimmers for a project that gained several photography awards

The charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) obtained 720 illness experiences over the last year, submitted via its Safer. Seas & Rivers Service app, which alerts swimmers when water enterprises release sewage

That. was an increase in comparison to the prior year when 286 people reported falling ailing after coming into the water, and the identical time period in 2019-2020 when there were 124 illness experiences.

The charity mentioned the number of app users had increased in the course of that period, so it was not an identical comparison, but pressing action was needed to cease more swimmers falling sick

Amy. Slack, head of campaigns and coverage at SAS, said: “Water enterprises are nonetheless picking out to pour sewage into the ocean and rivers throughout the country, making us rather literally sick of sewage”

Gastroenteritis. was the most common health problem reported to the charity by wild swimmers after coming into the water.

Ear, nose and throat infections were common too, with respiratory, pores and skin and urinary tract infections also reported, it said

Ness. Woodcock-Dennis had to go to hospital with an eye an infection she caught from wild swimming

Ness Woodcock-Dennis, a public future health nurse and lecturer in nursing, is at present recovering from an eye an infection after swimming in the River Stour at Manningtree in Essex

“It. bought so bad that I could not see and I had to go to hospital,” she mentioned.

“I’m really careful and by no means put my head beneath the water due to the hazards. I was wearing contact lenses and bought splashed in the eye. I was fearful as quickly as it happened,” she said

She. swims with a group of more than 100 neighborhood swimmers known as the Manningtree Mermaids, who have staged. several protests over water quality

“Swimming. in the sea is our birthright and we shouldn’t have to be worrying about getting sick,” she said

“It’s. irritating simply because I already restrict my swims and by no means swim in the course of or after heavy rainfall, when I know that the water enterprises are allowed to release sewage”

The. Manningtree Mermaids protested after Anglian Water admitted dumping raw sewage 389 times last year in the Stour – the river that varieties the border between Essex and Suffolk
Ness Woodcock-Dennis (far right) is very passionate about water caliber and believes swimming is our pure birthright

Julia Walker, a social employee established in Shoreham, West Sussex, contracted a bacterial and a kidney an infection in September after swimming in the sea

“It. took me a couple of months to get back in the sea, and now I only swim with my head above water for fear of turning into ailing again. It makes me very angry that the water enterprises are affecting how I use the water,” she said

Julia. Walker contracted a bacterial and a kidney an infection in September after swimming in the sea

SAS issued 9,216 sewage air pollution alerts over the last year, it says in a new. report. The campaign group monitors water caliber at over 400 places around UK rivers and coastlines

Water. firms are only permitted to release sewage in unusually heavy rainfall, but SAS mentioned it found evidence of at least 146 “dry spills”, when there had been no rain

Ms. Slack, from SAS, mentioned this was detrimental to the two environmental and public future health. She mentioned the authorities needed to do more to carry water firms to account.

“It’s excessive time the authorities stepped up and took real action to curb their damaging and selfish behaviour,” she said

Surfers. Against Sewage has produced an app and a net web page alerting swimmers when sewage is discharged

According to data from the Environment Agency, UK water firms discharged raw sewage more than 770,000 times over the course of 2020 and 2021

It. has just launched data for May to September 2022, which exhibits sewage was launched 5,504 times throughout more than 15,000 hours

Anne. Leonard, an environmental epidemiologist and microbiologist established at the University of Exeter, mentioned she was growing increasingly involved about the presence of antibiotic. resistant bacteria in sewage

“We. are operating out of antibiotics that are effective against the most resistant bacteria, so preserving sewage away from our rivers and shores is a key public future health intervention to lessen preventable infections and restrict our reliance on antibiotics,” she said

A. spokesperson at Water UK, an organisation representing UK water and wastewater service suppliers, mentioned water enterprises agreed there was an pressing need to sort out storm overflows.

A new infrastructure programme will supply £56 billion of advancements if authorised by regulators, Water UK mentioned.

“To accelerate progress further, we need the authorities to end housing developers’ uncontrolled connections to sewers with no first knowing their capacity, and to end the flushing of wet wipes made from supplies that cause blockages and fatbergs. Both are major causes of sewer overloading and spills.

“We also need the authorities to implement current laws in order to increase the use of sustainable drainage systems on new developments as a means of decreasing the volume of rainwater coming into the sewer system,” the spokesperson added

The. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs mentioned it had been going “further and faster than any other authorities to shield and enhance” rivers, lakes and seas and the authorities had been “clear that water enterprises can’t profit from environmental damage”

“Our. Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan has brought in strict targets on sewage air pollution and will require water enterprises to supply the largest infrastructure programme in their historical past to sort out storm sewage discharges – a £56 billion capital investment over 25 years,” a spokesperson said

“Through. increased monitoring and transparency, driven by government, the regulators have launched the largest legal and civil investigations into water enterprise sewage treatment works ever.

“Regulators will use all selections for strong enforcement action and will proceed to prioritise action to shield bathing waters and excessive precedence nature sites”

Find. BBC News: East of England on Facebook,. Instagram. and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion e-mail eastofenglandnews@bbccouk

More. on this story

    • 22 August
    • 12 August
    • 21 December 2021
    • 30 October 2021
    • 26 October 2021
    • 9 July 2021
    • 23 April

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not liable for the content of external sites

Related. Topics