Full list of 10 sewage alerts around Kent following heavy rainfall

An image of sewage being released into Tankerton, which saw more than any other Kent beach in 2022
Tankerton saw more sewage releases than any other Kent beach in 2022 -Credit:SOS Whitstable

A number of sewage alerts have been issued across Kent following heavy rainfall over the weekend. Swimmers have been told to avoid certain areas after the rain led to sewage being discharged into bathing waters.

A total of 10 pollution alerts from Surfers Against Sewage are currently in place in Sheerness, Minster Leas, Leysdown, West Beach in Whitstable, Tankerton, Herne Bay Central, Herne Bay, Folkestone, St Marys Bay and Littlestone. Eight out of 10 had storm sewage discharged from a sewer overflow.

The alerts in Littlestone and St Marys Bay are both due to "Poor annual classification". It reads on the SAS wesbite: "This pollution puts water users at risk of contracting harmful illnesses including viruses and antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Pollution plagues our rivers, seas and coasts, making us sick, spoiling our favorite swim spots, destroying delicate ecosystems, killing our wildlife, and threatening ocean recovery."

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Across England and Wales, there were over 3.6 million hours worth of spills from storm overflows into rivers and other waterways in 2023. That’s equivalent to a tap running for 411 years non-stop, and double the 1.8 million hours in 2022.

A SOS Whitstable protest
SOS Whitstable's protests are well attended - the group wants sewage discharges in the seas in Kent to be stopped -Credit:SOS Whitstable

SOS Whitstable, a group which aims to protect the sea and coastal communities, has launched a petition which has collected more than 280,000 signatures. It reads on the Change.org website: "This crisis has spiralled out of control, causing enormous environmental harm, huge damage to tourism and coastal economies and risking public health. Enough is enough."

Here's the full list of pollution alert issued on Sunday, April 28:

  • Sheerness

  • Minster Leas

  • Leysdown

  • West Beach in Whitstable

  • Tankerton

  • Herne Bay Central

  • Herne Bay

  • Folkestone

  • St Marys Bay

  • Littlestone

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