PADDLEBOARDERS took to the sea this morning in a campaign against water companies dumping sewage into rivers and oceans. 

Activists from Surfers Against Sewage, along with other residents who felt strongly against sewage along the beaches, came together with placards to spread their message. 

They called for water companies, in particular Wessex Water, to bring an end to waters being contaminated with waste. 

Bournemouth Echo:

Mairin Williams, regional representative for Surfers Against Sewage, said: “We are campaigning against Wessex Water for their continuous sewerage discharge into our rivers and seas.

Read more: Fewer sewage spills in Wessex Water network last year

“It was announced the other day that water companies were to invest £10billion, but this is from the bill payer’s pocket rather than from the water companies’ pockets. 

“We are here to say the money should be coming out of the water company’s profits, which is paying the CEO’s big bonus.” 

Bournemouth Echo:

Jessica Toale, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Bournemouth West, was also at the protest. 

She said: “I’m here because of the disastrous impact water companies have had here, both in terms of human harm and biodiversity. 

Read more: Public told to avoid 83 beaches polluted by sewage leaks

“Throughout the country, there has been 1.75million hours (about 199 and a half years) of activity of sewage dumped into the waters and here in Bournemouth that is hundreds of hours. 

“Last year at Boscombe and Bournemouth Pier we had 50 pollution alerts and it is really worrying for the people who want to come out and enjoy the beautiful beaches. 

“We’d like to see an end to sewerage dumping by 2030.” 

Bournemouth Echo:

Environment Agency figures, which includes data from all ten water and sewerage companies in England, show a total of 21,878 spills in the area covered by Wessex Water last year. 

A Wessex Water spokesman said last month: “Clearly there’s more to do and we’re committed to continuing to reduce the frequency of discharges, starting with those that operate most frequently or have any environmental impact.  

“We’re also planning to go even further and, if approved by our regulators, will invest more than £9 million per month from 2025.”