Littlehampton sewage: Apology after 'system control failure' led to wastewater being released for 77 minutes

A ‘system control failure’ has been blamed for the release of wastewater into the sea at Littlehampton.

Beachbuoy, the stormwater release notification website run by Southern Water, offers information about where and when sewage is dumped along the south coast.

A notification on Monday (June 20) said wastewater had been released by Southern Water in the past 24 hours.

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The water company has now explained how this came about.

A spokesperson said: “Customers may have seen a Beachbuoy alert for Littlehampton yesterday (Monday).

"We are sorry that a system control failure led to wastewater being released from our Sea Road outfall for around 77 minutes. The release was partially screened and very heavily diluted with clean treated water.

“Modelling shows that due to wind direction, tides and length of the outfall, some 5km from the beach, we have no evidence of any impact on bathing water quality.

“As a precaution the beach was inspected this morning and we continue to sample and monitor for any impact on bathing water quality. We continue to work with the Environment Agency.”

Littlehampton Seafront

Southern Water clarified that the release was ‘not at the mouth of the River Arun’, as the Beachbuoy site appeared to suggest, adding: “The release went via the long sea outfall circa 5km out to sea."