Advice against bathing or entering the area below the high water mark at 14 of Thanet’s beaches following an unscreened wastewater release from the Southern Water pumping station at Broadstairs remains in place for the weekend.
All signs will stay displayed on the affected beaches between Westbrook Bay and the Western Undercliff in Ramsgate.
This follows a failure at Southern Water’s Wastewater Pumping Station in Broadstairs on Tuesday (October 5)
Since the incident, Thanet council has attended daily calls with Southern Water and the Environment Agency to assess the impact on the coastline.
Southern Water has provided assurances that their contractors have been carrying out beach inspections every day to continue to assess the impact of the spill and to clean up any evidence of debris.
The council has also continued to carry out visual inspections. As there is evidence of items being washed up onto the shoreline, existing advice will remain in place.
A further update will be issued next week. County Councillor Karen Constantine is in contact with the water company and is seeking a public meeting for early in November.
Initially swimmers were warned against using three – and then five – of the bays at Broadstairs but this was updated and signs advising the public not to enter the water were put in place across the Westbrook to Ramsgate stretch.
A Southern Water spokesperson said the unscreened wastewater release had been due to a fault with pumps, with the resulting release at Joss Bay.
A statement issued by the company yesterday (October 7) said: “Following the fault at our Broadstairs Pumping Station on Tuesday morning, we are continuing to comb nearby beaches for any evidence of impact and clean up if necessary.
“We will continue to do this until we, the Environment Agency and Thanet District Council are satisfied no risk of environmental damage remains.
“A full investigation is taking place to understand the cause of the fault.
“Southern Water is passionately committed to the environment and part of this is being fully transparent about how we operate. We’re leading the way within the water industry with pollution reporting, and the Beachbouy Bathing Water Portal is part of this. We’re also very heavily invested in cutting pollution incidents, reducing them by 75% by 2025. In Thanet, this includes a first-of-its-kind surface water drainage survey for the area.
“Across the Southern Water region, we’re investing £200 million a year for wastewater assets and environmental protection.”