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Don't ruin summer - use the right plumber

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Water

As spring unfolds our thoughts turn to warmer days and the outdoors. Day trips to the beach, walks along the river bank or perhaps DIY and building projects. But have you ever thought how your actions at home might be causing pollution on your local beach?

Deck chair on the beach

Devon is a fantastic place to live with its rolling hills, stunning estuaries and some of the finest beaches in the country.  From an early age I knew this, so I joined the National Rivers Authority (now the Environment Agency) to help look after it. Since then industrial scale pollution has reduced and so our rivers are much cleaner and bathing water quality has improved dramatically over the last decade.

Whilst my colleagues and I are always ready to respond to pollution incidents, get our wetsuits on to test water quality and advise water companies where best to invest in cleaning up our waste waters, sadly this is not enough and we need your help.

Pete sampling bathing water quality

The next challenges are not so easy to tackle. These are the ones caused by ordinary people every day at home.

Would you be surprised to know that your home could be causing pollution - from that washing machine you moved into the garage or the new extension or en-suite you are planning?  Wrongly connected or misconnected plumbing takes dirty water and sewage from our homes and pumps it straight to our local rivers and beaches. This pollution not only looks ugly, but can harm wildlife, kill fish and could even make you sick.

Blocked drain and polluted stream

I was surprised to find out that in some areas as many as 1 in 5 homes have drains misconnected in this way. These little mistakes add up to a big problem. Misconnected drains pollute 9% of our bathing waters and 15% of our rivers.

As an island we want our beautiful coastline pristine and seaside towns thriving. Tourism is worth around £3.6 bn each year – and the 146 million visitors to Britain’s beaches want to be confident that their sea water is clean and safe for their families.

This is why I’ve been working on the ConnectRight Campaign, to encourage people like you to check your home is connected right.

The ConnectRight website provides all the advice and guidance you need, like advice to help you if you are planning a DIY job or building project this summer and links to a local accredited Watersafe plumber.

If your home is misconnected this is happening
If your home is misconnected this is happening

If you were surprised to find out that this is a problem please help to protect the environment in the easiest way possible – just by spreading the word on facebook or twitter.

Share this blog with anyone you know who is moving house, hiring a plumber or simply taking their kids to the beach this weekend.

Then all we need for a perfect day at the beach is a bit of sunshine!

Jon Snowden
Technical Advisor - pollution prevention

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  1. Comment by ellen keegan posted on

    Could I use the image of the man sitting on the toilet at the beach please

    • Replies to ellen keegan>

      Comment by kathrynbooth posted on

      Dear Ellen

      Many of the photographs and images that appear in our publications are purchased externally from image libraries, solely for one-off use in the publication.

      Lots of our pictures are available on Flickr: If you know a photograph or image belongs to us you will need to contact our customer services and request a licence. Please call 03708 506506 Mon-Fri 0800-1800.

      Kind regards


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