Thousands of people are expected to join protests across the country this weekend, demanding an end to sewage pollution in UK bathing waters by 2030.
The protests, organised by Surfers Against Sewage, were prompted by long-running concerns over the state of the country’s rivers, and in particular news that water companies discharged raw sewage into English rivers 372,533 times in 2021.
Every single river in England failed a test for pollution in 2020, and experts have warned the pollution is breeding drug-resistant diseases.
Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, said: “Clean water is essential for all life. Yet decades of mismanagement by the water industry have contributed to our rivers becoming pollution superhighways; riddled with sewage, chemicals and filth.”
He added: “This weekend, thousands of people will be taking to river banks, streets and beaches to call for change and call for an end to sewage pollution. When an industry smells this bad, it’s hardly surprising people have had enough.”
Billed as the first National Day of Action on Water Quality, protesters will use Saturday to call on water companies to stop polluting UK waterways.