Brits have been warned not to swim at 29 popular beaches across south west England on Tuesday (19 September) following heavy rain across the region.
Environment group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) have issued the alerts on its interactive map advising the public not to swim at specific beaches due to waste being discharged from a sewer overflow within the past 48 hours.
The warnings come after heavy rain and strong winds swept across the region on Sunday (17 September).
An amber weather warning for thunderstorms across parts of Devon and Somerset was in place on Sunday afternoon, with a yellow warning in other parts of south west England and South Wales.
Heavy rain brought “torrential downpours” across the south-west of England on Sunday, with localised flooding in Devon. It led to widespread road closures, bus and train cancellations and the closure of Paignton zoo.
Almost a month’s rain fell on Sunday at the Birds Hill rain gauge on the edge of Exmoor. Other spots saw up to 60mm of rain fall, more than half the September average for the region of 92.45mm.
The band of rain moved eastwards throughout Sunday and cleared by the early hours of Monday morning.
Amid the heavy rain, an “absolutely disgusting” sewage spill was spotted yesterday afternoon running through a town centre in Cornwall.
Angus Hirst told CornwallLive he saw an “interesting sewage spill in Falmouth High Street” which was “coming out of the public toilets”. He added that there was “poo everywhere”.
In a video captured by Hirst, it shows murky brown water gushing out of a drain as well as toilet paper strewn across the pavement.
Following sewage alerts, a SAS spokesperson told NationalWorld that the “blatant disregard for public health and our blue spaces is appalling.”
The spokesperson added: “Water companies spill sewage come rain or shine, all the while syphoning off tens of billions to shareholders and paying the fat cats at the top huge pay and bonuses.”
Listed are the beaches across southwest England that have been marked as a pollution risk.
The public are advised not to swim at beaches marked with a pollution risk as there is the potential to swallow water that could be contaminated with faecal matter leading to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cramps, inflamed stomach and intestines.
Burnham Jetty North
Plymouth Hoe East
Plymouth Hoe West
Salcombe South Sands
Dartmouth Castle and Sugary Cove
St Marys Bay (Devon)