Sewage in the sea at Joss Bay header image

Sewage in our seawater!

What exactly is happening on our coast line? Our local beaches and sea are massively valued, loved and well used public amenities. Especially during this pandemic. But are they safe? Yet again we have a report of a discharge of sewage into the sea. This time at Joss Bay.

The day after the latest discharge of sewage into the sea at Joss Bay, I was invited by ITV News to convey local concerns.
Surfers against sewage campaign banner
Inland waterways are affected too. Surfers Against Sewage are lobbying for support for the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill, soon to be voted on in Parliament.

Southern Water have earned themselves a poor reputation locally. It’s getting worse and incidents like this are part of the reason why. I’m asking exactly why does the sewage have to be discharged into the sea? All too often it gets washed back in. It’s a threat to public health and to the local ecology and marine life.

I’m being told by many people that they are fed up with thread bare excuses from Southern Water and the lost opportunities on the occasions they can’t use the beaches. From our regular sea swimmers to surfers to beach combers all are sick of the sewage on our shorelines.

The situation is different elsewhere. In London for instance, billions of pounds are being invested to upgrade the decaying infrastructure, by building a ‘super sewer’, which will stop emergency flows into the Thames. Where is the investment in Thanet to stop sewage flowing into the sea and onto our beaches?

We pay £2.3B per year on our water bills. An upgraded water and sewage system would save bill payers around £100 per year, protect the environment and create some much needed jobs . Isn’t it time we had better?