‘Boo to poo’ was the message shouted out by over 100 protesters on Teignmouth seafront on Saturday (May 18).

Children hold placards at the Teignmouth protest against sewage pollution.
Save the sea for our youngsters (photo: Jo Bowery (Jo Bowery)

The protest was part of a UK-wide day of action organised by Surfers Against Sewage calling for urgent action to tackle the number of sewage spills into rivers and seas.

‘There have been 34 sewage alerts in Teignmouth this year,’ said the organiser of the Teignmouth protest, Peta Howell, as she warned that the total number of sewage alerts in the area is likely to break records this year.

Peta Powell leads the protest against sewage pollution in Teignmouth
Peta Howell calls the protesters to action (photo: David Caunter) (David Caunter)

After marching along the promenade from Teignmouth pier, the protesters gathered on the beach before taking to the water where they were joined by paddle boarders.

The protesters and Surfers Against Sewage are calling for water companies to end sewage pollution and the destruction of ecosystems and local economies. The action group is calling on supporters to write to Ofwat and demand that water companies are held to account. Water companies must ‘put in future plans that work with nature to deliver an end to sewage pollution in our favourite spots - the places we swim, surf and paddle - by 2030,’ Surfers Against Sewage said in a statement.

‘This isn’t just a day of action but the continuation of a growing demand for change,’ the group added.

The day of action came less than a week after 17,000 of people living in the Brixham area were issued with a ‘boil water’ notice after the water supply was contaminated with the cryptosporidium parasite.