Advice to stay out of the water at 14 Thanet beaches remains in place – eight days after pumping station failure

Warning signs at Thanet beaches in 2021 Photo Rebecca Douglas

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 continues to remain in place following further inspections of the coastline.

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).

However, Thanet council says that due to the improving picture it is hoped the advice can be lifted before the weekend.

Cllr Ash Ashbee, Leader of the council said: “Every day we continue to advise people against swimming in our waters is quite frankly a day too long. Being forced into a position where we have to ask bathers, water sports enthusiasts and even businesses not to go about their normal activities on the grounds of safety, is simply unacceptable.

“I have again called for a meeting with Southern Water executives to express my strongest dissatisfaction and to understand exactly when things are going to improve. It’s encouraging to know that discussions are underway at a national level on these issues, but my priority is to the residents and businesses in Thanet, and I say enough is enough. I will ensure that our voices are heard once again and will be expecting the strongest and quickest action to resolve these ongoing wastewater issues.”

Photo Rebecca Douglas

Contractors for Southern Water have carried out beach inspections every day to assess the impact of the spill and to clean up any evidence of debris. Council officers are also continuing to carry out visual inspections.

This weekend Broadstairs is due to be the grandstand for the final Tech Race of paddleboarding’s GBSUP National Series.

The Viking Bay Classic is scheduled to be staged on October 16 in partnership with Kent Surf School and Kent SUP Racing after the latter was asked by GBSUP (Great Britain Stand Up Paddleboarding) to host the final event of its national Ocean Technical series.

A public protest over the Southern Water waste releases on Thanet’s coastline has been organised by Save Our NHS in Kent. This will take place at Margate’s harbour steps on Saturday, October 23 from noon.

Final race of Great Britain Stand Up Paddleboarding series to be held at Viking Bay


  1. This really is totally unacceptable happening so often and is bad for visitors and residents alike. How is it they are getting away with this and just paying lip service with their “apologies ?” Folk may be interested to know that the Isle of Wight is facing big problems with Southern Water and great dissatisfaction there also. Sadly these companies seem more interested in the shareholders than their customers.

    • That’s because they’re mandated to do just that. Their principle obligation is to make money for the share holders.

  2. Why are so many people still swimming in the mentioned areas, why are so many dog strollers allowing their pets into the sea ?

    Tbh, there are many beach access points but few warning signs Or uniformed personnel to advise.

    SW & Tdc please act.

  3. i wonder what those people that have paid 3/4 million pound for a flat on ramsgate front are thinking , looking out on a beach thats closed because of raw sewage ? happy days

  4. Once again, this reveals how weak and flawed our “democracy” is.
    We have our elected representatives (in this case a Tory Council Leader, Ash Ashbee, but it could be any Party) pleading with a private company on our behalf. Yet the private company is under little obligation to listen, though the owners know that it’s best to appear concerned.
    Our elected representatives have no POWER, yet they battle grimly with each other to win elections and the level of excitement at election times is positively electric!
    With our economy and our public services now totally privatised, democracy is reduced to a choice of who can sound more impressive when negotiating with our feudal masters, the billionaires who actually own and run the country.
    “Politics” just becomes a petty exchange of insults, scoring a few points at other’s expense, with the biggest liars and charlatans emerging on top as they seem cheerful and positive even in the gloomiest times. More like entertainers than serious decision-makers. Are we surprised when they take luxury holidays when the country is gripped by crisis? Or when reports indicate thousands of deaths due to their slow and ill-informed responses?

    They are not the real decision-makers. We flatter ourselves if we think that we elect the people who run the country. We don’t. We elect the people who go cap in hand to our real rulers to negotiate the conditions of our second-class status.
    We can choose between the Tories ,who are totally in favour of the current distorted system, or Starmer’s Labour, who wriggle uncomfortably when they survey the corrupt reality but who then meekly accept it.
    As someone recently said, “It’s all just blah, blah, blah”.

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