Taking place at 1pm, the Surfers Against Sewage demonstration saw hundreds of protestors pick up their placard and settle their pickets in a concerted effort to end sewage pollution.
It came as part of the first National Day of Action on Water Quality, with the pressure group calling on Southern Water to stop raw sewage releases off the coast. Surfers Against Sewage joined with clean water campaign groups from all over the country to organise protests against all 12 water companies, with simultaneous events taking place all over the country.
The protests come less than a year after Southern Water was fined a record £90 million after pleading guilty to illegal discharges of sewage in rivers and coastal waters across Sussex, Kent and Hampshire.
Last month, Environmental Agency data revealed that water companies like Southern Water discharged raw sewage into UK rivers 372,533 times, prompting outrage from protestors all over the country.
“When an industry smells this bad, it’s hardly surprising people have had enough," said Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage.
Together with other clean water campaign groups, Surfers Against Sewage are calling for a complete stop to sewage releases by 2030. They are also asking for stronger targets to end untreated sewage discharge, an enhanced testing regime which paints an accurate, real time portrait of the UK's water quality and increased investment in infrastructure to prevent destructive practices.
“We stand with Surfers Against Sewage and we are already delivering the improvements they – and our customers - want. Our people are swimmers, paddleboarders and kayakers too," said Toby Willison, chief environment and sustainability officer for Southern Water.
"As part of our commitment to transparency, our Beachbuoy app shows in near real-time, 365 days a year, any release with the potential to affect bathing water.
“We are planning to extend this service by adding water quality data in the future. In addition, next month we will be launching the UK’s first interactive buoy off Hayling Island to monitor water quality in real time.
“Supporting and educating people about the damage that fat, oil and grease, sanitary products, nappies and wet wipes do when disposed of down sinks, toilets and drains is important. Only human waste and paper should be flushed down the toilet to avoid blockages. "