Councillors call for prior sewage warning for beach users at Maer Rocks

Water bosses have been urged to put a system in place alerting beach users when the sewage is being pumped into the sea at Maer rocks.

Adam Manning

Currently, water quality for sewage and swimming quality is reviewed once a week by the Environment Agency and South West Water.

At the full council meeting on Monday (June 13), members of the Exmouth Escape (End Sewage Convoys and Pollution in Exmouth) group provided evidence to councillors about the amount of sewage being pumped into the sea at Exmouth, and the Exe Estuary. 

In response, councillors discussed inviting a representative of South West Water to a town council meeting to discuss what more can be done to limit the amount of pollution and sewage. 

Councillors said they were ‘extremely concerned’ about the increasing amount of sewage being imported into Exmouth by lorry, the consequential damage to roads and the resulting carbon footprint.

Cllr Olly Davey said: “I notice in one of the answers from South West Water to Simon Jupp that when they were queried on whether there was insufficient evidence, their response was there is, but not in the summer when the tourists arrive, well, that suggests to me it’s insufficient for several months of the year.

“That’s not an answer, so if you can’t cope when the tourists come 

“I agree South West Water have had pressure from EDDC (East Devon District Council), I don’t think they need pressure from us as well, they need pressure from absolutely everybody.

“They have been able to distribute eye-watering amounts of sewage and yet somehow they keep telling us they cant do this and that.

“I would like to make one amendment one bit of this, point three, I think we should write to the CEO and ask her to address a council meeting, not the council because you’re only giving yourself one bite of the cherry and also CEO or a representative because they may feel someone else may be more appropriate.”

Exmouth Town Council will now go back to South West Water and invite them to the next town council meeting to discuss.