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        15 October, 2021

        Advice against bathing lifted at all Thanet bays

        Update Friday 15 October:

        Following continued beach inspections, we can confirm that advice against bathing has now been lifted at Joss Bay, meaning that restrictions are no longer in place on any Thanet beaches.

        The signs have now been removed across all 14 bays where advice had previously been in place.

        In order to be as robust as possible, there will be ongoing inspections by Southern Water and council officers to ensure this improved picture remains to be the case.

         

        Update Thursday 14 October:

        Following continued inspections along the coastline, advice against bathing or going beyond the high water line has now been lifted at 13 of 14 Thanet beaches where restrictions were previously in place.

        Council staff will begin the process of removing the 140 signs in place between Westbrook Bay and the Western Undercliff in Ramsgate.

        Guidance against bathing continues at Joss Bay however due to ongoing evidence of debris on the shoreline. Signs at Joss Bay will therefore remain in situ.

        Beach inspections by Southern Water will continue at all 14 beaches for the time being to ensure that the improving picture continues. Council staff will continue to support with additional visual inspections.

        This advice follows a failure at Southern Water’s Wastewater Pumping Station in Broadstairs on Tuesday 5 October.

         

        Update Wednesday 13 October:

        Following continued inspections along the coastline, our advice against bathing at 14 of the district’s beaches remains in place today (Wednesday 13 October).

        All signs will remain in situ on the affected beaches between Westbrook Bay and the Western Undercliff in Ramsgate.

        Due to the improving picture we hope to remove the advisory notices before the weekend and will confirm this as soon as we are able.

        This advice is in place following a failure at Southern Water’s Wastewater Pumping Station in Broadstairs on Tuesday 5 October.

        Cllr Ash Ashbee, Leader of the council said:

        “Every day we continue to advise people against swimming in our waters is quite frankly a day too long. Being forced into a position where we have to ask bathers, water sports enthusiasts and even businesses not to go about their normal activities on the grounds of safety, is simply unacceptable. I have again called for a meeting with Southern Water executives to express my strongest dissatisfaction and to understand exactly when things are going to improve. It’s encouraging to know that discussions are underway at a national level on these issues, but my priority is to the residents and businesses in Thanet, and I say enough is enough. I will ensure that our voices are heard once again and will be expecting the strongest and quickest action to resolve these ongoing wastewater issues”.

        Contractors for Southern Water have carried out beach inspections every day to assess the impact of the spill and to clean up any evidence of debris. Council officers are also continuing to carry out visual inspections.

         

        Update Monday 11 October: 

        Advice against bathing at 14 of the district’s beaches remains in place following the weekend.

        All signs will remain in situ on the affected beaches between Westbrook Bay and the Western Undercliff in Ramsgate.

        This follows a failure at Southern Water’s Wastewater Pumping Station in Broadstairs on Tuesday 5 October.

        Daily calls continue between Southern Water, the Environment Agency and Thanet District Council to assess the impact on the coastline.

        Contractors for Southern Water have carried out beach inspections every day to assess the impact of the spill and to clean up any evidence of debris. Council officers are also continuing to carry out visual inspections.

        The situation is improving, however as there has continued to be evidence of some items being washed up onto the shoreline, the advice for now remains in place.

         

        Update Friday 8 October:

        Advice against bathing at 14 of the district’s beaches will remain in place for the duration of the weekend. 

        All signs will remain in situ on the affected beaches between Westbrook Bay and the Western Undercliff in Ramsgate. 

        This follows a failure at Southern Water’s Wastewater Pumping Station in Broadstairs on Tuesday 5 October 

        Since the incident, the council has attended daily calls with Southern Water and the Environment Agency to assess the impact on the coastline.

        Southern Water has provided assurances that their contractors have been carrying out beach inspections every day to continue to assess the impact of the spill and to clean up any evidence of debris. 

        The council has also continued to carry out visual inspections. 

        As there is still evidence of some items being washed up onto the shoreline, existing advice will remain in place.

        A further update will be issued next week (w/c Monday 11 October).

         

        Tuesday 5 October:

        Beach users are being advised not to enter the sea or the area of beach below the high water mark at a number of beaches in Thanet.

        This follows an unscreened wastewater release today (Tuesday 5 October) by Southern Water as a result of a failure at its Wastewater Pumping Station in Broadstairs.

        Signs advising the public not to enter the water are being put in place at beaches from Westbrook Bay around the coast to the Western Undercliff in Ramsgate.

        Inspections are being undertaken by Southern Water in the affected areas to assess the impact and to ensure the beaches are cleared following the high tide.

        The council will continue to monitor the situation closely alongside Southern Water and the Environment Agency.

        Leader of Thanet District Council, Councillor Ash Ashbee said:
        “Incidents of pollution on our beaches are not only unacceptable but should simply not happen. As soon as I was alerted to this latest incident I spoke with Southern Water’s Chief Executive to express my extreme dissatisfaction and find myself yet again asking for an explanation.

        “I obviously feel the frustration of local residents and businesses and will continue to push for a longer term and more robust response around the promised improvement and investment in Thanet’s wastewater system.

        “Our coastline and beautiful beaches, arguably our most important natural assets, should not have to sustain continued environmental damage. Rest assured this is a fight I will continue to take to the highest possible level.”

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