A new wave of sewage pollution hits the beaches of Great Britain

A new wave of sewage pollution hits the beaches of Great Britain

A new wave of sewage pollution hits the beaches of Great Britain

A drain pipe that discharges waste water onto a North Sea beach

Along the coast there are warnings about potential sewage spills into the water

Pollution warnings are in place for over 100 British beaches after untreated sewage has been discharged into the sea.

The notices appear on the Safer Seas and Rivers Service, operated by the charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), and are based on data from water companies.

Discharges are allowed for example after heavy rains, to prevent the sewer system from being overwhelmed.

But there is growing public anger over their impact on rivers and beaches.

SAS chief executive Hugo Tagholm told the BBC that the resignation came after the “slightest hint” of rain.

He criticized the water companies’ use of combined sewer overflows, designed to release wastewater and rainwater in times of extreme heavy rain.

“Do they think this is a joke? Don’t they realize how much anger there is for their profit and pollution?” He said.

In parliament, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas urged the government to “cut the bullshit” and return the “failing” water industry to public hands.

In the past 24 hours, one company – Southern Water (SW) – has discharged untreated sewage at nearly 30 beach sites, including the popular resorts of Bognor Regis, Hastings and Cowes.

SW data also shows that since early September it has released untreated water on 95 occasions. Two storm drain pipes, at Southsea East and Stokes Bay, were discharged for more than 24 hours.

By law, these types of sewage are legal only in “exceptional” circumstances.

In a statement Southern Water said, “Rain can overwhelm the combined sewer and drainage system that exists in many parts of our region. To protect homes, schools and businesses from flooding, storm surges act as a relief valve and release excess water in the sea “These drains are highly diluted, typically 95% rainwater. There are about 15,000 storm spills in England and about 1,000 in our region. “

Why is raw wastewater pumped into the sea?

Tighter wastewater targets promised for England

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency warns people not to swim at more than 50 bathing sites across England, due to poor water quality.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency currently has poor water quality warnings in 18 of its designated bathing waters, while Natural Resources Wales has three water quality warnings in place.

In an urgent question to the House of Commons on Tuesday, Environment Secretary George Eustice said that raw wastewater discharges into waterways will be reduced by a quarter by 2025.

“This is the first government to set a clear requirement for water companies to reduce the damage caused by sewage and we have established it by law through the Environment Act,” he said.

Caroline Lucas accused ministers of “going backwards” on the issue.

“We have a so-called plan that allows water companies to continue polluting until 2035 in areas of significant importance to human and ecological health and until 2050 elsewhere, sanctioning nearly 30 more years of pollution,” he said.

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