A Surfey on Dutch water quality and health issues

oktober 26, 2015
Martijn van Schaik

Water quality assessments in the Netherlands are conducted by local governments. Unfortunately this is done only scarcely during the summer months… And that’s too bad! As surfers, swimmers and other kinds of watermen we spend lot of our time in the water. A decrease in water quality has potentially great impacts on our health.
Last summer Surfrider Foundation Holland therefore conducted a Surfey on Dutch water quality and possible health issues that arise when spending a lot of time in the water. This gives us greater insights in today’s issues on water quality and provides input for debate with local governments.

We’ve made a poster to show you all percentages of; trash sited, health complaints and general statistics. Check it out!

Baseline characteristics
246 surfers replied: 77.8 % male and 22.2% female
Average age is 32.4 years old
Surfers that stay in the water longer than an hour 98.7%
Number of surfers that surf year round 64.8%

Surfey - small



















A staggering 65 percent stated they worry about the water quality in the Netherlands, with 71% stating there is no adequate information on water quality at their local spot.
These worries seem to be just, as almost 3/4 of the replicants (73,2%) reported at least one health issue following surfing their local spot, ranging from ear, nose and throat complaints to digestive tract symptoms to skin and eye problems. Subsequently, 13,3% of these surfers went to see a physician.

Trash or pollution was observed by up to 80% of surfers, a confirmation of the necessity of our Rise Above Plastics programme.

Our goal
Following these numbers, we at Surfrider Foundation aim to set up a prospective alarm system, allowing surfers to report health issues directly. This allows for appropriate action upon multiple reports and focus on keeping the water and the beaches clean.

If you want to help us in our quest, please contact us on what you can do! info@surfriderfoundation.nl.


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