Both beaches closed after sewage, including sewage, was released into the sea last night following problems at a pumping station. Electrical problems at the pumping station, which have been described as ‘significant’, saw sewage gushing into the sea when the main and backup power system failed yesterday (August 17).
The beaches affected are Bexhill and Normans Bay, reports SussexLive. Both beaches were reportedly closed for public health and safety reasons.
A Southern Water spokesperson said: ‘We are deeply sorry for this incident and understand the seriousness and distress this is causing.
According to Southern Water, power was restored last night and backup generators were put in place. However, with sewage having already been discharged into the sea, Southern Water and Rother District Council are investigating the potential impact on bathing water quality for public safety.
Toby Willison of Southern Water said: “There were two discharges between 3pm and around 4.40pm and then again at 5.30pm and 6.20pm.
“These were due to power outages, the main and emergency power supply to the pumping station failed and we had discharges. I can only apologize to the people of Bexhill, Normans Bay and Hastings – this is a failure of one of our assets.
“We are working with local authorities and the Environment Agency to understand the details of what happened.
“We have undertaken beach clean-ups, beach walks and the beaches are unfortunately closed at the moment.
“We have temporary power generation on site, so backup generators and we also have a 24/7 presence on site.”
It is currently unknown what caused the power outage that triggered this latest sewer issue, however, Southern Water is investigating this and says it will share with stakeholders and customers when possible.
Rother District Council said it would also provide necessary updates on the incident when it can.