Sewage Pollution

Oct 31, 2020
Sewage Pollution

Sewage In Sea Water

Did you know that in the USA it is estimated that 3.5 million people will get sick from coming in contact with contaminated water? Most won't even realise that contaminated water is the cause of their illness.

Sewage is defined as waste liquids/ solids that have been carried away by sewers. A large number of sewer pipes were constructed decades ago when constructors wouldn't take into account the effects of the sewage on the marine environment and it was actually thought that the sea would simply dilute the sewage. Thankfully, many of these older pipes have been blocked, removed or put into disuse but not all of them. Sewage doesn't only come from land sewer systems, over the last few years more and more information has come out about the amount of sewage that cruise ships dump in the ocean!

Swimming in the Ocean

It is shocking how widespread sewage pollution in the ocean is, one estimate suggests that cruise ships can dump around 95,000 cubic metres of sewage from toilets and a further 5,420,000 cubic metres of sewage from sinks, galleys and showers into the oceans each day! Research into places which are home to both people and coral reefs has found that 96% have a sewage pollution problem.

What are the effects of sewage in the ocean?

You don't want to go swimming in sewage polluted seas, but not just because of the smell! It can actually cause you some serious illness and spread disease. 

Untreated sewage can be devastating for coral reefs as there are a lot of toxins and pollutants in sewage which can fatal for corals. A cocktail of toxic substances that can cause stress and even death to some corals include, fresh water, heavy metals, pathogens and endocrine disruptors. If you are interested in a more in-depth analysis of the effects of sewage on coral reefs we recommend this article form Cool Green Science.

Coral Reef Image

Another consequence of raw sewage entering the ocean is eutrophication, which is where an area of water is overly enriched with nutrients and minerals. This on the surface may not sound so bad, but actually it can cause big algae blooms which can alter the balances in ecosystems and even lead to the deaths of marine wildlife.

How Can We Prevent & Fight Sewage?

We can all do our part to fight sewage pollution in our ocean, it may seem like something that is out of your hands but there are ways you can help to combat the problem:

  • Report Pollution - If you ever suspect or come across pollution then informing regulators & politicians is an essential step to holding those responsible for pollution to account. Gather as much evidence as you can to include with your report. For more information on how to and what to report click here.

  • Raise Awareness - It is surprising how few people are aware of the dangers and effects of sewage on the ocean. Not many know that this is such a big problem, so by sharing resources and knowledge we can raise people's awareness and work to reduce the impact of sewage in the ocean.

  • Sign Petitions & Contact Governments - One of the biggest ways you can see change enacted is by calling upon local governments and signing petitions to demand more be done.

  • Supporting Amazing Charities - We recommend Surfers Against Sewage.

Supporting Surfers Against Sewage

This November we are donating 10% of profits from Ocean Helper to the awesome team at Surfers Against Sewage who are working to not only monitor sewage and pollution levels in the coastal seas around the UK but also they work tirelessly to raise awareness around the dangers of plastic pollution and other threats to our oceans around the world! 

Surfers Against Sewage

Ocean Helper is a member of Surfers Against Sewage's 250 club and we have been since our beginnings. They are an amazing group who are very local to us here in Cornwall and are responsible for organising two massive annual beach cleans around the country! They are a driving force behind the Plastic Free Towns initiative run here in the UK and are relentlessly working to hold supermarkets, brands and corporations to account when it comes to plastic packaging. 

We are excited to be support their work this month. Please go to their website to donate directly and to read more about the causes they are driving at the moment.  check them out on Social Media - Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

November - Surfers Against Sewage

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Navigator Bracelet

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