Autumnal Sewage Pollution at Widemouth Bay and Bude

The end of meteorological summer is upon us. Schools go back next week. Storms are raging in the North Atlantic. It’s time to start checking the surf forecast at our nearest big beach break, Widemouth Bay!

Here’s what the Surfline forecast has to say about the coming weekend:

Today seems like a very good day to be dusting the cobwebs off boards and wetsuits, but there is a fly in the Widemouth Bay ointment. See our WestDevonWx weather forecast this morning:

The Surfers Against Sewage pollution alert map shows that sewage has been flushed into the sea at 9 locations around the Devon and Cornwall coast so far this morning, including at Widemouth Bay:

In addition the Environment Agency’s SwimInfo map offers “advice against bathing” at many more beaches:

South West Water’s “WaterFit Live” map offers more detail on the “wet weather spill” at Widemouth Bay:

According to South West Water:

The beach at Widemouth has something of a wild feel to it. Backed by low cliffs there are numerous interesting rock formations on and around the beach. These also make for great rock pooling.

At the time of writing the combined sewer overflow (CSO) at Madeira Drive has been in operation for almost 3 hours. Do you fancy taking your children rock pooling at Black Rock this afternoon?

[Update – August 31st 13:00]

As the morning progressed more CSOs went into operation around the coast of South West England. Here is this afternoon’s “WaterFit Live” map:

Evidently later in the morning the inclement weather reached South Devon, as forecast by the Environment Agency! Many (many!) moons ago I had a summer job on Teignmouth Pier. Today, just up the coast at Holcombe, this was happening:

In addition, although not in the SwimInfo forecast on the north coast but in operation nonetheless, have been the all too familiar CSOs at Harlyn Bay:

and Mawgan Porth:

[Update – August 31st 20:00]

As the invisible sun goes down on the last day of August the number of sewage pollution incidents around the coast of Devon and Cornwall has been increasing all day. Here’s this evening’s WaterFit Live map:

It has also become clear that several beaches have suffered more than one such incident today, not all of which are readily identifiable as such. For example compare this screenshot of SWW’s page for Widemouth Bay with the one near the start of the article:

South West Water assure me via XTwitter that:

[Update – September 1st 08:00]

Several more CSOs were operating last night, particularly in the Plymouth area. One of those has been activated again this morning, at Oreston Quay:

To be continued…

Jim Hunt

I've been programming computers since the late 60s. In those days they didn't have computers in schools, so we had to build our own. What can I program next? Will I have to build it first?

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jim Hunt

    The combined sewer overflow monitor at Widemouth Bay has been activated again, this time for over 1 1/2 hours:

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