Raw sewage pumped onto Amble beach 62 times in one year
Readers may be aware of a recent report from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) that Northumbrian Water has been pumping raw sewage onto local beaches.
In their 2020 Water Quality Report, SAS list Amble Links and Warkworth beaches among the worst affected areas in Northumberland. There were four main areas listed: Warkworth – 56 discharges, Seaham Hall Beach – 60 discharges, Amble Links – 62 discharges, Spittal – 91 discharges.
We contacted Northumbrian Water and asked them why this has happened so often, and what they intend to do about it to keep the public safe.
A spokesperson for Northumbrian Water, said: “A huge amount of investment has gone into the improving the bathing waters around the North East coast over the past 20 years.
“The result of our programme of investment is that 33 of our 34 bathing beaches in the North East reached good or excellent status in 2019. This includes Warkworth and Amble, which have both received excellent status for a number of years. The ‘excellent’ status is awarded based on samples taken independently by the Environment Agency to assess the bathing waters against strict regulations.
“At times of heavy rainfall, storm overflows are used as a relief valve on our network, to protect customers’ homes. This happens with consent from the Environment Agency and the outfalls discharge what is largely rainwater, mixed with some of the contents of our network from the area affected. When this happens, we make an effort to get a team to clean up any debris as soon as possible.
“To make the public aware of what is happening, we have a section on our website called Beach Aware, where we provide updates on the overflow status of each area, as well as the bathing water quality requirements.”
The full SAS report can be found at: www.sas.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/SAS-Water-Quality-Report-Digital-v1.pdf