Sewage pollution alerts issued for almost 50 beaches in England and Wales

Official data shows discharges have taken place since Monday and Southern Water says they have been made to protect homes and businesses. It follows a period of heavy rain across southern England, after a spell of extremely dry weather.

Many of the beaches contaminated are popular resorts, and include Bognor Regis, Lulworth Cove, Newquay, Seaford and Southend-on-Sea. The majority are along England’s south coast.

Southern Water is one of the water companies responsible for those regions, along with Wessex Water and South West Water.

In a statement, Southern Water said: “There were thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rain the night before last and yesterday [Tuesday]. Storm releases were made to protect homes, schools and businesses from flooding. The release is 95-97% rainwater and so should not be described as raw sewage. We know customers do not like that the industry has to rely on these [discharges] to protect them, and we are pioneering a new approach.”

Last year Southern Water was fined a record £90m after admitting deliberately dumping vast amounts of sewage into sea across the south coast. These kind of discharges - which are legal - mostly happen after heavy rain, when there is a risk that pipes, which carry storm-water along with sewage, may overflow. This is only supposed to happen in exceptional circumstances. However, in 2020 and 2021, there were almost 400,000 spill events.

How many … :scream:


Good grief! That number is horrific…in Scotland there were 12,000 spill events during 2020.

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That’s horrific, too … :scream:

Who’s running these water companies … :angry:

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I knew it was bad, but not that bad!!

The thing is, our sewerage system is ancient, and can’t cope with the sudden influx of all these rainstorms & changing weather. So the water companies need to reinvest (haha :roll_eyes: ) in a modernised infrastructure, which means digging up roads. Road closures are not the motorists friend.

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Agree. However, as much as I hate to bring up the old chestnut, overpopulation is the real reason for this (along with most of the world’s) woes.


I disagree. If proper infrastructure was implemented, it would cope with the population.

I agree Pixie. But that, scarily, would also mean putting up all our water bills considerable to pay for it.
We can’t win, can we.

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@Mups , l believe the motivation for privatising our water and sewage
was that upgrading would take place Mups ??
What a joke !! :frowning::frowning::frowning:

Yes Donkey, I agree.
It was on telly a lot last week about all the leaks still not being mended too.
The water companies said they hope to be able to sort out leaks more efficiently by 2050, so not many of us will live to see the benefits, will we! :roll_eyes:

The globe can’t cope with this level of population, yet alone expansion. We might be able to make things OK for a bit, but improvements in infrastructure will only prolong the inevitable.

As much as I prefer talking about population as opposed to sewage…well, you know the rest.

This sort of pollution happens all the time all over the country. The water people don’t care as at worst all they will get is a small fine so it makes economic sense for them to keep doing it. No reason for them to want to undertake to sort it out as long as this is tolerated by our government (who probably are big shareholders).


My ex-husband always went on about his childhood holidays in Blue Anchor, Devon.
He remembers there were always faeces floating by, whilst he was swimming in the sea with his dad.

I’ll be attaching a little muslin bag to the tip of my snorkel from now on that’s for sure.


Or get a longer snorkel :wink:

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Ooh er missus ! :open_mouth:

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3m length of (ironically) cistern overflow pipe, perhaps held aloft with some helium balloons should do it.

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But of course, why didn’t I think of that!
NHS here I come :diving_mask:

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In aussie land they are known as Bondi cigars ?