Crap vacation: PM David Cameron & family surfed in raw sewage
South West Water (SWW) confirmed Thursday that untreated sewage had been released into local waters just off Polzeath last week, around the time the Camerons were visiting.
It was released into the sea Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon after heavy rain in the area.
Normally the sewage is treated before being pumped into the sea, but in this case the heavy rain caused the system to overload and back up.
Rather than let the sewage flow back into people’s homes and businesses, SWW decided to allow it to flow into the sea.
The Safer Seas Service app sent out warning messages at 0800 BST Sunday and 1430 BST Wednesday, notifying users that the Combined Sewer Overflow was being activated.
Surfers and swimmers are usually advised to keep out of the water for a full 48 hours after the sewage is released to avoid contracting illnesses.
But the Camerons are believed to have been swimming every day during their holiday, with neither of them any the wiser, it seems.
The prime minister and his family vacation on the Cornish coast every year.
David Smith, campaign manager for Surfers Against Sewage, warned that the family may be at risk of picking up a disease in the unclean water.
“If the Camerons were swimming within the time frames of a spillage, they might well be at risk,” he said.
“There could be anything from a small health risk such as skin, eye, ear, or throat infections to much more serious conditions such as E.coli or hepatitis, which can be present within raw sewage.”
He added: “We know there is a risk to people when there is a spillage in an area – and they are as much at risk as anyone else.”
Smith added that swallowing water whilst swimming increased the risk of infection.
“The average surfer ingests almost 200ml of seawater per surf,” he said. “If surfers are using polluted waters the chance of them becoming ill raises significantly.”