Both beaches are closed after wastewater, including sewage, was discharged into the sea last night following problems at a pumping station. The pumping station’s electrical problems, which were termed “significant,” caused sewage to spill into the sea when the primary power supply and backup system went out yesterday (Aug. 17).
The beaches affected are Bexhill and Normans Bay, SussexLive reports. Both beaches are reportedly closed for public health and safety.
A Southern Water spokesperson said: “We are deeply sorry for this incident and we understand the gravity and suffering this is causing.”
Power was restored last night and emergency generators were installed, according to Southern Water. However, now that the wastewater has already been discharged into the sea, Southern Water and Rother District Council are investigating the potential public safety implications of bathing water quality.
Toby Willison of Southern Water said: “There were two discharges between 3pm and about 4:40pm, and then again at 5:30pm and 6:20pm.
“Those were due to power cuts, both primary and backup power to the pumping station failed and we had releases. I can only apologize to the residents of Bexhill, Normans Bay and Hastings – this is an outage from one of our assets .
“We are working with the local government and the Environment Agency to understand the details of what happened.
“We are doing beach cleanups, beach walks and the beaches are unfortunately closed at the moment.
“We have temporary power generation on site so backup generators and we also have a 24/7 presence on site.”
It is currently unknown what caused the power outage that caused this latest sewer problem, but Southern Water is investigating and says it will share it with stakeholders and customers alike if possible.
Rother District Council said it will also provide necessary updates on the incident when it can.