A water company has admitted its environmental performance was “unacceptable” after a sewage spill was released along the Sussex coast
Sewage spilled from overflow drains may have been released, making it unsafe for bathers.
Lawrence Gosden, chief executive of Southern Water, told the House of Lords yesterday that its environmental performance has been “unacceptable”.
Southern Water, which collects and treats waste water in West and East Sussex, has been given a one star rating of ‘poor’ in this year’s environmental performance report from the Environment Agency in England.
Labor Councilor for St Mary’s Parish in Shoreham, Jeremy Gardner, said: “Three times in this month alone sewage has been discharged into our Sussex coastal waters. We need action.”
Data from Southern Water shows there have been three discharges at Shoreham, Southwick and Hove since earlier this month.
According to their website, the last spills at those sites ended at 9am this morning and “may have affected water quality”.
Mr Gosden was challenged by the Lords as to whether it was safe to swim on the south coast.
He said Sussex’s beaches had become much cleaner over the past 30 years.
Southern Water told Argus that storm surges are essential to protect homes, schools and businesses from flooding.
A spokesman said: “Rain can overwhelm the combined sewage and drainage system in place in many parts of our region. Storm overflows act as a release value, releasing excess water into the sea. These runoffs are highly diluted and are typically 95 percent rainwater. There are about 15,000 storm surges in England and about 1,000 in our region.”
Surfers Against Sewage, a marine conservation charity, argued that storm flooding occurred in Brighton, Hove and Shoreham this month when it was not raining “extremely”.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23060596.southern-water-performance-unacceptable-sussex/?ref=rss Southern Water: Performance in Sussex ‘unacceptable’.