Stop the sewage started the weekend of 9th/10th October. I had gone for a swim with two of my friends from the cold water swimming for health study we’d all done at Portsmouth Uni. After our swim we found out the EA had announced an ‘abnormal bathing event’ but we had not been alerted at all, by the beachbuoy app or by any signs on the beachside.
I was really angry that we had done all our due diligence but still put ourselves at risk.
I came home and set up stop the sewage Southsea and planned a protest for the following weekend.
We had over 300 people at the protest and had media coverage from the BBC Meridian and local press.
Since the protest we’ve continued to grow the campaign. Over 75 people came to our campaign meeting at the pier last week. We have a sub group leading on a possible non payment campaign. We’re working closely to build relationships with other protest groups up and down the coast including SOS in Whitstable, South East Sirens in Brighton, and Hayling Sewage Watch on Hayling Island.
Portsmouth city council have responded to our pleas for live updated signs at the bathing area and these will be installed early next year. We have a meeting with Southern Water booked for 13th December. We are planning protests covering the whole of the SW area for the new year, and hope to work with local artists to raise awareness of the issue within our own city.