Southern Water, councils and Environment Agency say Thanet beaches are clean amid pollution claims

Stone Bay Photo Dan Thomsett

Southern Water has issued a statement assuring residents that the water quality at beaches across Thanet and Canerbury district is safe and clean.

The statement, issued in partnership with Thanet District Council, Canterbury City Council and the Environment Agency, follows a report by a news outlet today that several sites were polluted.

The agencies say this is not the case and people  should continue to enjoy the beach.

Campaign group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) published warnings on its site about storm sewage discharges in Thanet and Whitstable. The Safer Seas website allows people to check water quality via an interactive map which SAS say tracks real-time CSOs (combined sewage overflows), pollution incidents and pollution forecasts. The data was used in a news report which warned people to stay out of the water.

But Southern Water has strenuously denied the waters have been polluted. It is not uncommon for water quality to be temporarily, adversely affected after periods of heavy downfall so water quality will drop because of surface run off rather than being considered as pollution of the sea.

Bathing waters are tested by the EA weekly and isle beaches have passed all the stringent tests

The statement says: “We would like to jointly assure residents and visitors that the beaches in and around Thanet and Canterbury remain clean and safe.

“These beaches were all awarded good and excellent bathing water quality by the Environment Agency (EA) and have been tested weekly by the EA during the bathing water season and have passed all the stringent tests to maintain water quality.

“Joss Bay, Stone Bay and Tankerton are award-winning beaches and both Stone Bay and Tankerton have been awarded Blue Flags which is the gold standard for cleanliness, bathing water quality, beach facilities and safety.

“We hope many visitors continue to enjoy the sunshine on these beautiful beaches over the coming Bank Holiday weekend.”

Information on bathing water quality can be found at


  1. So why is it that the SAS keep saying the water has been polluted ?

    Is the SAS lying ?

    Has the SAS been asked for further comment ?

  2. I was going to ask exactly the same question, John! Who does one believe here? I’m not sure it’s SAS since the last time they posted alert for Margate Main Sands and Westbrook they claimed heavy rain had resulted in the sewers overflowing. In the days preceding there hadn’t even been any significant rain.

  3. Throw away comments with no credible evidence has emptied our beaches and have had an impact on all beach businesses. Thanks SAS and Kent Live! I’ve supported you for years but no longer.

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