For the last eleven years, SAS have been campaigning for changes to the legislation that governs water quality throughout Europe – the 1976 EC Bathing Water Directive. The surfers have always maintained that the existing Directive does not do the job it was set up to do – i.e. protect the health of those using the water. In acknowledgement of this fact, the European Commission have decided to revise the Directive, taking into account the changes in science, technology and lifestyle that have taken place over the last 20 plus years.
The new Directive (as proposed by the Commission) is set to take a more informative approach, giving the public the power to choose where and when to go in the water. It will take account of the fact that it is not just bathers that are at risk from sewage polluted water and that water use is a year round activity for many. It will also feature a new standard for bathing water quality, one that is based on the most recent research findings of the World Health Organisation. Far greater emphasis will also be placed on management action at bathing waters and not just compliance with standards. SAS thoroughly endorse this approach!
Vicky Garner of SAS said today;
" The development and eventual implementation of this Directive will have massive implications for everyone using our water environment, from the family visiting the seaside for a two week holiday, to the avid, year round water user. If the final Directive is as strong as the Commission have proposed, we are set to see a piece of legislation that will actually fulfil it's purpose and give the best possible protection to the water using public! SAS see it as our responsibility to make sure that the Directive continues to be developed in the direction proposed, this weeks conference will give us another opportunity to push for a cleaner, safer water environment for all – we plan to make the most of it!"
For further details phone Vicky Garner on (01872) 553001 or (07711) 767 548 out of hours.