Surfers Against Sewage campaigners will be attending vital meetings in Brussels

this week, the outcome of which will give a strong indication of just how clean

and safe Europe's bathing waters will be in the future. A three day conference

pulling together all interested parties from all EU Member States will be the

setting for a series of brainstorming sessions designed to ensure that Europe's

water users are given the best possible health protection when they partake

in water based leisure activities.

For the last eleven years, SAS have been campaigning for changes to the legislation

that governs water quality throughout Europe - the 1976 EC Bathing Water Directive.

The surfers have always maintained that the existing Directive does not do the

job it was set up to do - i.e. protect the health of those using the water.

In acknowledgement of this fact, the European Commission have decided to revise

the Directive, taking into account the changes in science, technology and lifestyle

that have taken place over the last 20 plus years.

The new Directive (as proposed by the Commission) is set to take a more informative

approach, giving the public the power to choose where and when to go in the

water. It will take account of the fact that it is not just bathers that are

at risk from sewage polluted water and that water use is a year round activity

for many. It will also feature a new standard for bathing water quality, one

that is based on the most recent research findings of the World Health Organisation.

Far greater emphasis will also be placed on management action at bathing waters

and not just compliance with standards. SAS thoroughly endorse this approach!

Vicky Garner of SAS said today; " The development and eventual

implementation of this Directive will have massive implications for everyone

using our water environment, from the family visiting the seaside for a two

week holiday, to the avid, year round water user. If the final Directive is

as strong as the Commission have proposed, we are set to see a piece of legislation

that will actually fulfil it's purpose and give the best possible protection

to the water using public! SAS see it as our responsibility to make sure that

the Directive continues to be developed in the direction proposed, this weeks

conference will give us another opportunity to push for a cleaner, safer water

environment for all - we plan to make the most of it!"

For further details phone Vicky Garner on (01872) 553001