Thursday 18 Aug: Pollution warnings continue

[One way of getting Exmouth featured on almost all BBC news channels – Owl] 

A pollution warning has been issued at six Devon beaches today as people are being advised not to swim in the sea. The alerts have been flagged due to a drop in water quality as well as a sewer overflow.

Lili Stebbings www.devonlive.com

The warnings in place on Thursday were published by the Safer Seas and Rivers Service from the campaign group Surfers Against Sewage. Its interactive map monitors 400 locations around the UK coast, issuing alerts based on real-time tracking of combined sewage overflows and pollution risk forecasts.

The updated warning comes after swimmers were advised to avoid five Devon beaches yesterday. The service gave details of the following Devon locations where warnings were in place:

Teignmouth Holcombe

Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours.

A small sand and rock beach located at the base of tall red cliffs, Holcombe is an isolated beach backed by cliffs and a railway line. A sewer overflow discharges into the Holcombe Stream 40m upstream of the beach.

Teignmouth Town

Pollution Risk Warning: Bathing not advised today due to the likelihood of reduced water quality.

Located NE of the Teign Estuary, Teignmouth Town beach is a 1km stretch of sand backed by a promenade and the town. A sewer overflow at the railway station discharges northeast of the beach.

Exmouth

Pollution Risk Warning: Bathing not advised today due to the likelihood of reduced water quality.

Exmouth is a large sandy resort beach at the mouth of the River Exe backed by a promenade and the town. A memento of its Victorian heyday fine gardens and parks also back the beach. There is a sewer overflow discharging through an outfall to the south east which may affect bathing water quality especially after heavy rainfall.

Sidmouth Town

Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours.

Rock pools to the west, overhanging cliffs to the east, Sidmouth Town beach compromises 900m of legally protected pebbles broken up by rock groynes and backed by a promenade and the town. Two sewer overflows are located at Sidmouth, one discharges through a long sea outfall some 600m out to sea while the other discharges into the River Sid, just under 400m to the east.

Beer

Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours.

A small seaside village built around a small cove, Beer is a pebble and sand beach, approximately 1.2km wide. It is backed by cliffs and sheltered from most winds. Three sewer overflows surround Beer with one discharging from Beer car park, one discharging 600m North East and one slightly further to the South.

Wembury

Pollution Risk Warning: Bathing not advised today due to the likelihood of reduced water quality.

Famous for its shore life and rock pools, Wembury is a very popular sand and rock beach resort, some 1.1km wide. A stream flows across the beach, many rock pools are exposed at low tide and cliffs back the beach. There is a sewer overflow from Wembury pumping station that discharges 50m upstream of the beach.

Shoalstone Beach in Brixham is also under maintenance meaning sewage alerts have been disabled.

South West Water, which provides water and sewerage services in Devon, said in a statement: “The alerts raised at Teignmouth and Exmouth today were from the Environment Agency’s Pollution Risk Forecast (PRF system) which triggers precautionary alerts when weather conditions pose a potential risk to water quality along with other factors, and were not related to SWW activity.

“Alerts have been raised for Sidmouth and Beer in relation to stormwater overflows which may temporarily impact bathing water quality – these are precautionary and we expect them to be removed soon.”

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