03 • 22 • 2022

Stop Sewage Pollution!

By Mara Dias

Over 100 million visitors flock to U.S. beaches every year to enjoy the sand, sunshine and water. Despite how much we cherish our beaches, coastal water quality continues to be threatened by discharges of stormwater and sewage. Decades of neglect have left America’s wastewater infrastructure in disrepair, outdated and failing. Sewage spills and failing wastewater infrastructure threaten coastal water quality by discharging raw and under-treated sewage into local waterways and the ocean. Many communities are still not even serviced by sewers, but instead are connected to outdated systems, like septics and cesspools, that never adequately treat wastewater.

While this problem might seem daunting, Surfrider is fighting to ensure that all sewage in the United States is adequately treated to protect clean water and public health at the beach. Watch this short film to learn how pollution is affecting coastal communities and water quality in Hawaii, Florida, and across the country and what solutions are needed.

Sewage can contain bacteria, viruses & parasites that make people sick with gastro-intestinal symptoms, rashes, skin and eye infections, flu-like symptoms, and worse. Sewage discharges also pollute waterways with excess nutrients that fuel harmful algal blooms that endanger public health, threaten local economies and wreak havoc on coastal ecosystems. 

Join Surfrider in calling on Congress to support adequate water quality testing at your beach and at beaches across the U. S. by increasing funding for EPA’s BEACH Act Grants Program in the federal budget.  We are also asking for federal investments in repairing and upgrading our nation’s wastewater infrastructure through the Clean Water State Revolving Program.  Just click here to send an email to your representatives in Congress to ask for their support for these critical clean water programs at EPA in the FY2023 federal budget.  

Learn more about actions you can take at home to prevent sewage spills from happening in your community.