Southern Water has blamed heavy rainfall after 19 sewage releases into the sea over the past month near Herne Bay.
Locals are furious after visitor numbers to the town this summer have dropped and many feel that the sea conditions have contributed to the lack of business.
Southern Water says the releases are made up of 95% rainwater and are permitted by the Environment Agency. Almost all of the releases came from the nearby Swalecliffe outfall and one at the overflow pipe near Gainsborough Drive. The firm blamed the recent spate of releases near Herne Bay on heavy rainfall.
Since 4th July 2023, there have been 19 releases with four of these reportedly severly impacting water quality in the Herne Bay bathing area. The overflows are designed to legally discharge excess sewage and rainwater into rivers and the sea when under strain to prevent sewers from becoming overloaded and backing up into homes.
Data recorded by the Met Office show the Manston weather station recorded 82mm of rain last month, compared with 8.4mm at the same time last year. Southern Water has been criticised over a series of wastewater releases in recent years and was named among the worst-performing companies by Ofwat in 2022.
It is about time that the water companies realised that the seas around the UK are not their private area to be discharging sewage. The seas are the ownership of the nation and should be kept clean to be used by the people that live here.
The problem is that the UK Government give the water companies permission to dump waste into the sea, which is something that the water companies have been pushing to the limit.
The fight needs to be taken up with the Government now. They are not putting our country or our environment at the top of their list. They are not looking after our main coastal asset and have bene abusing it for years. As a nation, we have spent years trying to clean up our waterways and rivers.
Now the Government and water companies have not only undone all this work, but they have now made the seas 100 times worse. It is time we have to fight back to protect our natural beauty for us and generations to come.