Update on raw sewage pumped into sea off Eastbourne

An investigation is ongoing as to how raw sewage was pumped into the sea off the coast of Eastbourne at the weekend.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 2:27 pm
Eastbourne sewage leak SUS-190730-131623001

A total power failure at the Eastbourne treatment works at Langney Point on Saturday morning resulted in untreated wastewater being released via the sea outfall”.

Southern water, which runs the treatment facility, insisted today there was no sewage pollution in the sea and that “no untreated wastewater has been released since Saturday afternoon”.

The organisation also said the red flags flying on the beaches along Eastbourne seafront are warning people not to swim because of the high winds.

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Yesterday Eastbourne council was advising people not to swim due to “sewage pollution” but today Eastbourne Sea Swimmers, a group of bathers who swim regularly off the beach by the Langham Hotel, said the water bathing quality was good.

Southern Water said in a statement today, “Although the site is operating normally, we are keeping spare generators on site until we completely understand what caused power to cut out.

“The power failure was unforeseeable but no spill is acceptable to our customers or to us.

“Our teams worked around the clock and in very difficult conditions to restore the site on Saturday afternoon - no untreated wastewater has been released since then.

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“We will continue to liaise with the local council, the Environment Agency, and speak with beach-goers as we continue to carry out our works, and take samples from the site to assess any impact.

“The beach is still flying red flags but this is due to current weather conditions.

“We apologise again and thank everyone for their patience.”

A spokesperson at Eastbourne council said, “The council were notified by Southern Water on Saturday that there had been a sewage leak.

Southern Waters Eastbourne wastewater treatment works. Picture: Google SUS-190728-120656001

“We were advised to warn people against swimming at this time.

“Our lifeguards raised the red flag, put up signs and spoke to people on the beach.”