A Northumberland GP who fell ill after paddleboarding in the sea without knowing her local sewer overflow had recently discharged is backing a campaign for sewage-free seas.
Dr Georgina Sowman, who is a surfer and stand-up paddleboarder, suffered a severe illness with fevers and rigours, vomiting and sinus infection after the incident at Beadnell.
She said: “It’s important to provide sewage free seas for local communities to enjoy.”
The Environment Agency has opened a six-week industry stakeholder consultation on how often water companies should be legally permitted to discharge raw, untreated human sewage effluent directly into the nation’s beaches, rivers and coastline.
In response, Surfers Against Sewage is calling for 10,000 surfers, water users, boarders, swimmers and beach lovers to sign its response.
Surfers Against Sewage will deliver the responses to the Environment Agency and Environment Minister at its All-Party Parliamentary Group meeting in Westminster on May 4, once the consultation has closed.
SAS campaigns director, Andy Cummins, said: “This really is the best chance in a generation to plug the many thousands of polluting sewer overflows around the country. We need a critical mass of supporters that will be too loud to ignore. It’s now or never, take action and sign up for Sewage-Free Seas today.”