Pollution warnings were issued for a total of 10 beaches across Kent on Wednesday 5th June, following heavy rain showers throughout the county. Alerts have been issued for some of the county’s most popular beaches, including Thanet, Folkestone and on the Isle of Sheppey.
The alerts, published on the Surfers Against Sewage website, detail that releases of sewage have been recorded at all 10 sites within the last 48 hours. As a result, water quality is likely to have been impacted at each of these. It is deemed to be unwise to enter the sea with the raw sewage present.
To rub even more salt in the sewage scars, Southern Water customers could see an extra £279 added to their bills a year in a bid to reduce sewage spills. Sewage releases have been a large issue in recent years, sparking many groups to take action and protest against them, such as Save Our Seas Ramsgate.
A Southern Water spokesperson has said “Heavy rainfall puts extra pressure on our sewer network and to protect homes, schools and businesses from flooding, storm overflows provide a release valve to allow excess flows to enter the environment instead. These discharges contain up to 95 per cent rainwater and are permitted by the Environment Agency’.
Nice use of the phrase “up to” there, Southern Water!
During periods of high rainfall, Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) are carried out to reduce the risk of damage from flooding, comprising both rain water and sewage water.