Case Study: Surfers Against Sewage Update Beach-Goers By Text

We are lucky enough to be surrounded by beautiful beaches in the UK, but when you head to the seaside this summer, wouldn’t it be handy to be updated by text message on the water quality at your chosen spot?

We’re all really proud at FireText to be involved in the Surfers against Sewage national Safer Seas Service and it’s a great example of how we can create an SMS campaign tailored entirely to yours and your customer’s needs.

The Objective

  • To offer an easy to use and accessible Safer Seas Service
  • Provide real-time and relevant sewage alerts to those signed up across the UK

The Plan

Andy Cummins, Campaign Director at Surfers Against Sewage, was looking for a way to update beach goers all over the UK with real-time information when untreated human sewage and waste-water is being discharged at their favourite beaches. Providing this information allows you to make an informed decision about how, when and where you use the sea.

Andy was looking for a solution that was not only easy to use but also accessible to everyone across the UK, because of its instant nature and wide availability; SMS alerts provided the perfect communication solution.


Surfers Against Sewage purchased the keyword SAS on shortcode 64446 meaning anyone interested in the alerts could opt-in to by simply texting the word: SAS followed by their chosen beach, e.g. SAS SWANPOOL. This adds them into the contact group for those specific alerts and they’ll receive relevant updates straight back onto their phone, as and when it happens.

We helped Surfers Against Sewage develop a bespoke programme to trigger an SMS alert as soon as they were notified from participating water companies of sewage being discharged, at dangerous levels, at any of the 315 popular UK beaches.

The Message

“SAS SEWAGE ALERT. Sewage is currently discharging at Swanpool. This can have a serious impact on water quality. More info:”

The Result

With thousands of people signed up to real-time sewage alerts for 315 beaches across the UK, beach-goers are now able to make an informed decision on using the sea.

Signing up takes no longer than it does to send a text and you get an auto-reply straight away confirming your alert service.

Andy Cummins, Campaign Director at Surfers Against Sewage couldn’t be happier with the service;

“FireText help make it possible for SAS to deliver vital, real-time SMS pollution warnings to beach users.  The team have been fantastic in ensuring both the SMS delivery and the backend both work smoothly and a complex project continues to run without a hitch.  I’ve enjoyed working with the FireText team for a number of years and look forward to continuing and working together on our successful project.”

Text alerts are instant and useful, if you want to introduce them to your business or service get in touch with the FireText team today!

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