Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sewage on the beach

Article from the Avertiser page 4 August 18, 2011 by George Willy.


With our busy simmer season in full swing , about the last thing we want is the news of a sewage spill located in the press as happening ' just yards from Swanage's Blue Flag beach.'

Wessex Water has launched an investigation into what is delicately described as ' sewage solids ' that escaped onto the privately-owned beach at Ocean Bay following recent intense rainfalls.

As the report makes clear , if the spill had happened on the adjoining public beach- which is of course owned by Swanage council - we would be disqualified from having a Blue Flag. The award recognises ' excellence in cleanliness.'
Beach owner Dick Woodford said ' The thing that appalled me is that it took Wessex Water 24 hours to turn out.I spent the first day cleaning up the mess on my own.'
Wessex Water said the spillage occurred ' following a period of intense rainfall which temporarily inundated the system'
The result was that what were delicately described as ' sewage solids ' escaped into a private beach - ' a very important seafront area.'

So anyway being a member of Surfers Against Sewage and I am hoping soon to be a representative for the them for Swanage and Durlston bay. I find this appalling and upsetting not just for myself and my family , but for the many people who use our beach.

This is SAS’s core campaign protecting the health of recreational water users from sewage polluted water.

Scientific studies have consistently highlighted that those using beaches, lakes or rivers for sports are most at risk of falling sick from an illness associated with sewage polluted water. In some cases this risk is 3 times greater than your typical bather because sports like surfing involve more immersion and ingestion of water.

Despite SAS’s success at virtually eliminating continuous sewage outfalls there are some notable brown spots’ across the country where raw sewage is still discharged on a daily basis and these areas are subject to current SAS campaigning. The main examples of this are in Brighton, Guernsey, The Thames and Northern Ireland.

We are also seeking improvements to the combined sewer overflow (CSOs) systems that pollute recreational waters all too frequently, usually after heavy rainfall.

The way water companies plan their investment programmes also requires major attention. Much of the current investment has ignored or disregarded the impacts of climate change, in particular changing weather patterns that will result in increased flows of water into and out of the sewage works without treatment because there is not enough capacity to store the sewage. It is therefore discharged through CSO’s. More pollution incidents are expected because of this and that means more time out of the water for the likes of YOU and US!

Surfers Against Sewage have a alert text system which is free to sign up too , which I myself use and many times during the summer have received text stating sewage is going to the bay. I suggest anyone to have this text service. Link here

I hope this is sorted out soon and make everyone feel safe to use our beach.

Posted by David Furmage to swanageview at 17/8/11 6:01 PM


Anonymous said...

I just love it when people with an agenda seem to think that they're helping all of us!

A once in ....... how many years?

It only effect the Blue Badge if it's on the public bit when the inspectors visit.

It only effects people who drink a lot of sea water.

Rest easy.

What's my agenda?

David Furmage said...

What's your agenda? Nothing positive by looking at that post!

I have seen the affects of polluted water on many people through out the years . And if I can remember back in the 90's due to pressure from Surfers Against Sewage , George Willy and myself , Wessex Water did admit we had a problem and built the sewage works in Swanage. Since then we have won numerous awards for our beach. Which in turn brings money into town.

Thing is if sewage comes out of any outfall it can still pollute the water , and tides , swell and wind play a big factor on spreading the sewage round:( and it does effect even people who just paddle , wade , sailing , jetbike.

David Vincent said...

Thats a very alarming post there David, if it's the case surely there must be more concern over the things we can't see.

Things like detergents could also be finding it's way into the sea, and that could cause liver and kidney damage. Also sewage water can carry diseases like Giardiasis, Amoebic dysentery and Cholera.

Again you are right about it damaging the tourist trade. I would consider a report published about "debris" associated with sewage leaking onto Swanage beach very harmful to local trade. It's a shame not everybody see's that.

David Furmage said...

Thing is the sewage plant was built with UV screening which basically filters the sewage so clean water goes out. Though it's the outfalls that are the problem when they are under pressure from heavy rainfall. These are the main issues which SAS are trying to solve , and are doing so with great success ;)

Anonymous said...

So, keep applying pressure to the water companies - that way they can build the capital expenditure into their 5 year plans and seek agreement from the regulator. If the regulator agrees, they can do the work, which of course will be funded by increased bills for us all (that's the bad bit about the way the planning and funding system works!) I think its worth the cost though - after all who wants to surf or swim in sewage?

Anonymous said...

As this stuff presumably comes from the Ulwell - or even further N - river, it's nothing to do with Wessex Water.

Wonder if they'll help out of the goodness of their heart?

David Furmage said...

No it comes out at the Mowlen river and the jetty outlet in middle of beach , like my text alerts having been saying all day:(

Anonymous said...

As the tide and long shore drift takes solids from Ocean Bay towards the Mowlem that seems a tad strange.

The Postman said...

I've put a link in the heading to Wessex Water's updates on what they call Swanage Central beach [] I've asked them for details of where their CSO overspill stations are, but I don't think one spills into the Mowlem brook. Though I believe one does spill into the Ulwell Stream. And someone commented on the longshore drift: that runs south to north, from Mowlem to North Beach

David Furmage said...

Do we know if the council is following up this incident maybe to find out what action is being taken to stop this from happening again?

Dave and Diane said...

I've been in correspondence with the Town Council and was in February.....they are in touch with Wessex Water, and it's on the agenda for the next meeting of the Beach Management Committee on 28th October, 2:30pm Town Hall.

water man said...

Re:18/8 5.25. If it is sewage from drains where the householder pays Wessex for waste water it will be the company's responsibility - even if it is being discharged at Ulwell or further along the beach. Probably only happens after heavy storms but still a few times a year event..

Anonymous said...

Lots more of it about after this weeks weather......