Christmas is Coming, and so is Sewage Pollution

Following the severe storms last weekend a smaller storm is crossing the West Country this morning. Here’s the Met Office forecast for today’s accumulated rainfall by midday:

That shows around an inch of rain on Exmoor and the Hartland Heritage Coast, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Surfers Against Sewage pollution map currently looks like this:

According to South West Water’s “WaterFit Live” bathing water quality map sewage started flowing into our local beach break at Widemouth Bay in North Cornwall at 6:28 AM this morning:

Further north Westward Ho! in Torridge started becoming polluted somewhat later:

Meanwhile in North Devon the combined sewer overflow monitor at long suffering Woolacombe activated at 4:04 AM:

[Update – December 20th]

As the rain clouds recede into the distance matters are slowly improving in Devon. The overflow at Woolacombe finished just before 1 AM:

Just down the road in Croyde there was a 20 minute spill this morning:

However in Cornwall things aren’t looking quite so rosy at the moment. Sewage is flowing into the sea at Portreath:

However assorted other overflows on the north coast have now stopped:

[Update – December 21st]

South West Water’s combined sewer overflow monitor at St. Merryn near Harlyn Bay is no longer “undergoing maintenance”. Instead it shows that the CSO is active yet again this morning:

Further west the spill at Portreath continues:

[Update – December 22nd]

On the north coast of Cornwall the St Merryn overflow is no longer active:

However the pollution at Portreath continues:

Meanwhile on the south coast of Devon sewage is still heading out to sea at Torquay and Mothecombe:

There is better news from Plymouth, where the assorted CSOs around Marsh Mills have at long last subsided into quiescence:

[Update – December 23rd]

The St Merryn CSO is now “undergoing maintenance” once again:

So is the one at Portreath:

In a strange coincidence, so is the one at Torre Abbey Sands in Torquay:

Meanwhile the overflow at Ivybridge has just stopped operating:

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 4 Comments

  1. Jim Hunt

    Croyde Bay is just south of Woolacombe. The CSO there doesn’t activate very often, but it’s impossible to tell if it’s active this morning:

  2. Jim Hunt

    The Environment Agency have issued a “Flood Alert” for the Upper River Tamar, including Holsworthy, Bude and Launceston:

    The heavy rainfall seen overnight is forecast to clear during the morning, however river levels are still rising and are expected to reach their highest on Tuesday afternoon. The risk of flooding to low lying land and roads close to the river remains until river levels begin to drop on Tuesday evening, though no flooding to properties is currently forecast.

  3. Jim Hunt

    The sewage pollution incident at Woolacombe continues:

    Further south there has been a brief hiatus in CSO monitor activation at Westward Ho! and Widemouth Bay, but South West Water’s WaterFit Live user interface makes it impossible to know for how long since it only displays data for the most recent spillage:

    There has also been a brief spillage at the Marhamchurch pumping station near Bude:

    That feeds into the River Strat and then to Summerleaze Beach.

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