In the United Kingdom, beaches polluted by sewage

Cecil Ducourtieux. By

Posted today at 04:12, Updated at 07:52

Sally Burt-Jones drinks coffee, opens her beautiful pink and green beach cottage in North Kent overlooking Tankerton Beach in Whitstable, Britain’s oyster capital. She also wore a sweatshirt for the occasion that she reveals under her down jacket — it’s cold, this Wednesday, January 12. It is crossed out with a message for the occasion: “Murde” (in French). Sally co-founded the SOS Whitstable Association to fight against the practices of Southern Water, a private water treatment company in the south-east of England, during the summer of 2021.

SOS Whitstable founder Sally Burt-Jones surrounded by Ed Actson and Rebecca Martin on January 12, 2022 in Kent (United Kingdom).

The latter was sentenced by the British National Environment Agency to a historic fine of 90 million pounds sterling (108 million euros) for illegally dumping billions of liters of sewage into Kent, Hampshire and the sea. Sussex. But it continued to send sewage water directly into the sea several times a week, one nautical mile east of Tankerton, where one of its treatment plants, Swalecliffe, is located.

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“These discharges are authorized only in the event of exceptional weather events, but Southern Waters has not invested in its infrastructure for thirty years: as it rains, they become saturated. [elles recueillent les eaux sales grossies par les intempéries] , Says Sally Burt-Jones, a sustainability consultant who left London by the sea a few years ago. “If it rained the day before, we know we can’t swim the next day”, Rebecca Martin adds.

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Like Sally and a dozen other members of SOS Whitstable, IT Marketing Consultant Bubbletit is part of the Blutits, a local club of marine swimmers who hate the almost daily pollution of their beaches. All-weather swimming has become increasingly popular in the UK with the COVID-19 pandemic. This Wednesday, it hasn’t rained for several days and some swimmers are testing the icy waters at Tankerton. “summer season [2021], the beach had to be closed eighteen out of thirty days when completed People did not go on leave due to the pandemic and they needed to take advantage of it. Some neighbors told us that they got sick after swimming. ,

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SOS Whitstable then decides to take action. In the autumn, the association launched a petition on Change.org, demanding that the environmental law, under discussion in the British Parliament, be amended to oblige water treatment companies to legally limit discharges. Can you The petition passed the 100,000 signature mark, the House of Lords endorsed the amendment and voted in favor. Downing Street is blocking these changes, but a few days before the opening of COP26 in Glasgow (Scotland), the media is getting involved and the Johnson government is making about a face-off. Now adopted, the law requires companies to“Ensure progressive reduction of damage” Because of dirty water.

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