Sewage Pollution Following Storms Elin and Fergus

It’s been raining a lot recently here in the West Country. What’s more the Met Office are forecasting plenty more:

Here is the current Surfers Against Sewage sewage pollution map for South West England:

Delving deeper into the situation at some of our nearby north coast surfing beaches using South West Water’s WaterFit Live map reveals that one of their combined sewer overflows at Harlyn Bay in Cornwall has now been operating continuously for over 2 days:

Meanwhile in North Devon the CSO at Woolacombe has now been in continuous operation for well over 3 days:

Here is the Met Office’s current forecast for accumulated rainfall by midnight on Sunday:

In all the circumstances one cannot help but wonder when South West Water will stop allowing raw sewage to pollute our coastal waters, both short term following the current inclement weather and in the long term?

[Update – December 9th]

Today’s wet and windy weather has been named “Storm Elin” by Met Éireann:

[Update – December 10th]

Hot on the heels of Storm Elin, today we must endure Storm Fergus. According to a Met Office press release:

A wet and windy weekend for much of the UK will conclude with Storm Fergus, which has been named by Met Éireann.

On Saturday, Storm Elin, also named by the Irish Meteorological Service, brought some strong winds and rain to parts of the UK. A provisional peak gust of 81mph was recorded at Capel Curig, Wales, with 38.3mm of rain falling at Blencathra, northern England.  

A band of rain, at times heavy, is moving gradually from west to east through the day on Sunday and will affect much of the UK, before the arrival of Storm Fergus to western areas later in the afternoon…

Although there will be a brief drier interlude for many on Monday, further unsettled weather is likely on Tuesday, as the next area of low-pressure moves in from the west. This could bring with it some heavy rain at times, as well as some strong winds on exposed coasts.

Meanwhile sewage is continuing to be flushed into the North Atlantic by South West Water. A second CSO is now active at Harlyn Bay:

It’s now 5 days and counting of continuous operation at the Woolacombe pumping station CSO:

South West Water have confirmed that the information provided via WaterFit Live is accurate:

What with one thing and another the title of this post has been updated!

[Update – December 12th]

The weather yesterday was much more pleasant in West Devon than of late. However a few miles away on the north coast sewage is still flowing into the sea. At Harlyn Bay there’s currently only one CSO in operation, albeit for 6 days in a row:

Further north the Woolacombe CSO has now been continuously in action for over a week:

[Update – December 14th]

There’s been a slight glimmer of hope for the cessation of the stream of sewage pouring into the ocean off the north coast of Devon and Cornwall!

South West Water’s CSO at Harlyn seems to have stopped operating for a while, but is now active once again:

However, at Woolacombe the new normal continues unabated:

[Update – December 15th]

At long last the north coast storm overflows we have been watching are no longer coloured red on SWW’s WaterFit Live map. The St. Merryn storm overflow at Harlyn had another burst of activity early this morning:

Meanwhile in North Devon the Woolacombe pumping station overflow finally ceased operation after 10 minutes less that 10 days:

Do you suppose that this is a record? Meanwhile down on the south coast the Forder Valley Road storm overflow in Plymouth is still active:

The nearby Efford Marsh overflow had another long burst of activity yesterday, which ceased just after midnight last night.

[Update – December 18th]

The Forder Valley Road overflow in Plymouth ended its multi-day activity over the weekend, but managed another multi-hour activation today:

Meanwhile on the north coast the St Merryn CSO is now “undergoing maintenance, investigation or improvement”:

[Update – December 19th]

After an all too brief respite, the CSOs at Forder Valley Road and Efford Marsh in Plymouth have both been active for much of today. Here’s the ongoing situation at 7PM:

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?

Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | SoundCloud | Wikipedia

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jim Hunt

    This morning I extended my investigations to the coast of South Devon. There I discovered that the Efford Marsh combined sewer overflow in Plymouth has been in continuous operation since December 3rd:

    What’s more the nearby Forder Road CSO has been active since December 6th:

    Meanwhile the pollution continues at Woolacombe and Harlyn on the north coast.

  2. Jim Hunt

    The two CSOs in Plymouth are still allowing sewage to flow towards the River Plym and thence into Plymouth Sound:

    However there seems to have been a brief hiatus in the operation of the Efford Marsh overflow:

Leave a Reply

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.