Twelve Devon tourist beaches on Pollution Alert

Beer, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth are on the list

Twelve Devon beaches – 11 of them on the south coast of the county – have been put on pollution alert today after more heavy rain fell overnight. The beaches include some of the county’s most famous tourist hotspots.

Guy Henderson www.devonlive.com

Torre Abbey Sands at Torquay was the first to be placed on an official Environment Agency Pollution Alert, meaning that storm sewage had been discharged from a sewer overflow in the location within the past 48 hours. There is a sewer overflow in the urban catchment directly behind the beach that discharges into the Torre Abbey stream. Torre Abbey Sands was made the subject of an alert on Monday, which was still in place today.

The 10 other beaches were added overnight. They include Beer, where three overflows surround the beach, with one discharging from Beer car park, one discharging 600m North East and one slightly further to the South.

Other beaches on alert today are Sidmouth, where one overflow 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. Budleigh Salterton is on today’s list. There are three sewer overflows in the area, one discharges directly onto the beach, another 400m east and another that discharges 1.3km away into the sea.

At Exmouth, which is also on the list, there is a sewer overflow discharging through an outfall to the south east which may affect bathing water quality especially after heavy rainfall. Dawlish Town Beach is on the list. It has five sewer overflows covered by the Safer Seas Service within 650m off the beach which can operate in heavy rainfall.

At Coryton Cove, another beach included on today’s list, a sewer overflow discharges over the rocks at the southern end of the beach. Teignmouth’s Holcombe Beach is on the list too. It has a sewer overflow which discharges into the Holcombe Stream 40m upstream of the beach.

Torbay beaches on today’s list in addition to Torre Abbey Sands are Beacon Cove, which can be affected after heavy rainfall and Goodrington, where there is one sewer overflow discharging directly onto the beach while another discharges 500m upstream in the Goodrington Stream that then meets the sea towards the southern end of the beach.

In the South Hams Mothecombe beach is on the list. There are no sewer overflows directly on the beach at Mothecombe but urban areas including Ermington and Ivybridge can discharge into the River Erme whose estuary Mothecombe is located in.

The only North Devon beach on today’s list is Westward Ho!, where a sewer overflow discharges to the sea at Nose Rock at the southern end of the beach while the Tawe/Torridge estuary also receives overflows from the surrounding urban area which may affect water quality especially after heavy rainfall.

All pollution warnings are highlighted on an interactive map by Surfers Against Sewage. At Paignton Beach and Brixham’s Shoalstone Beach sewer systems are under maintenance and South West Water has temporarily disabled real-time alerts.

There are two sewer overflows on Paignton Sands – one at the southern end of the beach and another offshore of the harbour. A sewer overflow discharges to the sea across the rocks at the eastern end of Shoalstone.

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