Sewage concerns on Bognor Regis beach: your comments

Our readers had a lot to say about concerns that sewage might have washed up on Bognor beach after a number of storm releases last weekend (July 23 and 24).

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Monday, 2nd August 2021, 10:04 am

Last week, we published an article about resident concerns that raw sewage had washed up on the beach from Elmer to Aldwick after Southern Water authorised a number of Storm Releases on the weekend of July 23 and 24.

Readers, like residents, were incredibly vocal about the incident, which took place just weeks after Southern Water were fined £90 million for pumping billions of litres of fuel into the sea in North Kent and Hampshire.

Despite residents’ concerns, the water company has insisted the releases were ‘99% seawater’, ‘screened’ and ‘generally pass through long sea outfalls a mile or so offshore.”

Raw sewage on Aldwick beach. Photo by Danny Dawes

Here’s what you had to say:

“It is sickening that Southern Water are doing this,” said reader Sarah Clarke. “But, at the same time, planners who allow more homes should think this will become worse with more homes being allowed to be built. And when people can’t swim in the sea, it will be Bognor that loses money.”

“With more and more housing going up everywhere, this problem will only get worse,” added Nigel Jones.

Looking for a ‘balanced perspective’, a third reader, Matthew Chivers, said: “There has been a colossal amount of rainfall recently. If they don’t put it in the sea, then it will overflow at the treatment plant instead.

“I’m not saying this isn’t a problem. (It is, I’d like to swim in the sea, too) but it’s far more complex than “fine them more money”. Pointing the finger usually works best when you also offer a solution.”

Although fining Southern Water more money was a popular suggestion, some readers, like John Phillips, were concerned it might be customers, not company executives, who’d have to foot the bill.

“What’s the point of fining them?” Mr Phillips said “It’s the customers that will end up paying it. Best thing to do is take their board to court and punish the individuals. Then take the licence off Southern Water and give it to a company with a better record.”