Hundreds of surfers and paddleboarders have taken to the sea in protest over sewage being dumped in waterways.

The large group of protesters took to the water to share their outrage at raw sewage being dumped into seas and rivers in Sussex by water companies such as Southern Water.

The protest, organised by Surfers Against Sewage, was the latest in a string of events organised to put pressure on water companies to “cut the crap” and end sewage outflows.

Helen Dixon, one of the protesters at the event, said: “I’m furious about the sewage. I’m a sea swimmer and we want our water to be clean.

The Argus: Protesters from Surfers against SewageProtesters from Surfers against Sewage (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

“I have had health issues from swimming in the past and we need Southern Water to keep the water clean.”

Friend Nicki, from Rottingdean, added: “I feel disgusted. We are paying our bills for this to be dealt with properly but they aren’t dealing with it.”

The Argus: Nicki, centre, and Helen, right, at the protest holding placardsNicki, centre, and Helen, right, at the protest holding placards (Image: NQ Staff)

Protesters took the sea by the West Pier in Brighton wearing gas masks and fancy dress and holding placards highlighting the issue.

The event in Brighton was part of a national day of action organised by the group to highlight the issue.


Stu Davis, Brighton representative for Surfers Against Sewage, said: “The protest has gone brilliantly. This shows how much people in Brighton and beyond feel about this.

“The message we are sending is quite clear: we want Southern Water to end sewage discharges by 2030.

The Argus: Caz Hodge protesting at the eventCaz Hodge protesting at the event (Image: NQ Staff)

“Currently their actions feel a bit too little too late. We want to see a curb to these discharges and the government need to put in place strong regulations.”

In response, Nick Mills, head of Southern Water’s clean rivers and seas task force, said: “We have already made significant investment in Brighton and have made a major reduction in spills as a result of our seven-mile super sewer lying under the chalk cliffs of Brighton which transfers waste and storm water to our new Peacehaven treatment works, one of the largest and most modern wastewater treatment works in Europe.

“This massive infrastructure project ensures that the 95 million litres of wastewater on average per day generated from Brighton and the surrounding areas is fully treated.”