Both beaches have closed after wastewater, including sewage, was released into the sea last night following problems at a pumping station. The pumping station’s electrical issues, which have been called “significant”, saw sewage gushing into the sea when the primary power and backup system failed yesterday (August 17).
The beaches affected are Bexhill and Normans Bay, SussexLive reports. Both beaches are understood to have been closed for public health and safety.
A spokesman for Southern Water said: “We are deeply sorry for this incident and we understand the seriousness and the distress this causes.”
According to Southern Water, power was restored yesterday evening and emergency generators were put in place. However, with sewage having already been discharged into the sea, Southern Water and Rother District Council are investigating the potential impact on the bathing water quality for public safety.
Toby Willison from 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 failures, both the primary and back up power supply to the pumping station failed and we had releases. I can only apologise to the residents of Bexhill, Normans Bay and Hastings – this is a failure of one of our assets.
“We’re working with the local authority and Environment Agency to understand the specifics of what happened.
“We have been undertaking beach cleans, beach walking and the beaches are unfortunately closed at the moment.
“We’ve got temporary power generation on site, so back up generators and we’ve got 24/7 attendance at the site as well.”
It is currently unknown what caused the power outage that sparked this latest sewage issue, however, Southern Water is investigating this and says it will share with both stakeholders and customers when possible.
Rother District Council said it will also provide necessary updates on the incident when it can.