Nine beaches in Devon hit with sewage and pollution warnings

-Credit: (Image: Carl Eve/PlymouthLive)
-Credit: (Image: Carl Eve/PlymouthLive)


A number of beaches across Devon have been hit with pollution warnings today (July 6). It comes after sewage was discharged into the sea following rainfall in recent days.

Charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) have highlighted the locations where sewage and pollution may contaminate water via an interactive map. The SAS map warns that storm sewage has been discharged at a number of beaches across Devon.

Sewage dumps are often blamed on heavy rainfall as overflows are used to prevent drains being overwhelmed. However, the side-effect is sewage ending up in the sea.

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According to SAS, a sewage pollution alert means "storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours" and a "pollution risk forecast or incident alert" means there is potential for sewage to be in the area.

According to the Safer Seas & Rivers Service map, the following beaches in Devon have sewage pollution warnings in place as of today:

  • Plymouth Hoe East

  • Westward Ho!

  • Woolacombe Village

  • Ilfracombe Hele

  • Lynmouth

  • Sidmouth

  • Budleigh Salterton

  • Teignmouth Holcombe

  • Meadfoot

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is calling for an end to sewage discharges into all bathing waters, and high-priority nature sites, by 2030. In 2023, there were 584,001 recorded discharges across England, Scotland and Wales - an 51 per cent increase on the previous year - with sewage released into waterways for a total of 12,966,322 hours.

Swallowing water that could be contaminated with faecal matter could lead to gastroenteritis, hepatitis, giardiasis, skin rashes, amoebic dysentery, nose, ear, and throat problems, pink eye, and other respiratory illnesses. Symptoms to look out for include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cramps, inflamed stomach and intestines.

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