BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 17 Apr '19

At the start of the UK bathing season, a new app has been launched to provide real-time water quality information

Following major redevelopment, an innovative smartphone app that helps beach users, sea swimmers and watersports enthusiasts track pollution events and real-time water quality information has been launched.

What started out as a simple text alert service back in 2010, piloted at just two beaches, has now become a sophisticated system that covers over 350 locations across the UK. It now also includes Scottish beaches.

‘The Safer Seas Service provides free water quality and beach safety information for hundreds of locations nationwide. Our unique app ensures that all beach users can keep up to date with the latest changes in water quality, which can sometimes fluctuate dramatically during periods of heavy rainfall. We’re delighted to be expanding our coverage across all nations and bringing Scottish beaches into the service for the first time.

‘The Safer Seas Service also includes advice to help subscribers engage with environmental campaigns to protect our ocean and contribute to the ongoing evidence to ensure water companies are investing their profits in better protecting our precious beaches.’

HUGO TAGHOLM
CEO of Surfers Against Sewage

Created with the support of the Environment Agency, the revamped app notifies users of reduced water quality at their favourite beaches in real-time, enabling informed decisions about getting in the water – whether swimming, surfing or paddling.

The service will be more streamlined than ever before, delivering vital information directly to your smartphone.

In the last year alone the service has issued users with alerts for 2,039 sewer overflow spills and 1,638 alerts based on pollution risk forecasting systems, across all listed locations.

Live surf and tide conditions

Alongside real-time water quality information, the app provides live surf and tide conditions and descriptions for each beach, giving relevant information such as dog restrictions, facilities and lifeguard services.

A record of issued alerts will be available for each location, and the service will collate evidence to support Surfers Against Sewage in its continued campaigning legacy of challenging water companies to further investment in improving bathing water quality standards.

Furthermore, by providing guidance and information on how ‘sewer stewardship’ can prevent blockages and so-called ‘fatbergs’ that can lead to overflows, it’s hoped the improved app will also engage users in better understanding water quality issues and encourage responsible actions.

To download the smartphone app, designed for both Apple iOS and Android platforms, users should search for ‘Safer Seas Service’ within their app store.