Burst sewage main down Cinque Ports Way, Bulverhythe Beach area, St Leonards. SUS-210730-104349001

Warning against swimming at all Hastings beaches after major sewage leak

A second sewage main burst has occurred in St Leonards this morning (Friday, July 30) leaving the seafront area flooded.

By Stephen Wynn-Davies
Friday, 30th July 2021, 2:24 pm

The news comes after emergency repair teams from Southern Water were sent to a burst pipe under the cycle path at Bulverhythe beach, Cinque Ports Way on Wednesday night (July 28).

The area has since been closed off.

This morning, a spokesman for Hastings Borough Council said: “Hastings Borough Council is obviously very disappointed indeed that there has been a further serious sewage leak at Bulverhythe, affecting the beach huts and the beach.

“The council has had to close the beach at Bulverhythe as a result, and is advising people not to go onto the affected part of the beach, or to go into the sea there. The Environment Agency are also now advising against swimming at all Hastings beaches.

“We obviously hope that the leak is fully repaired as quickly as possible, and that the beach cleaned and reopened.”

Southern Water said it evacuated the area overnight on Wednesday following the initial burst.

It added it had located the burst and identified the cause as leaking collar (where two pipes join).

Teams were at the site yesterday (Thursday, July 29) carrying out further thorough clean-up, Southern Water said.

This morning a Southern Water spokesman said: “We have been working hard to contain and minimise a spill after a burst to a very large sewer pipe, carrying upward of 540 litres per second of wastewater, at Bulverhythe Beach on Wednesday afternoon. Tankers were able to maintain flows and wastewater services while the pipe was turned off to start the repairs.

“Unfortunately early this morning we reached our network storage capacity in the area and took the tough decision to turn the pumping station back on to support control of the network and increase storage to allow more time to complete the repairs.

“This did mean we spilt from the original burst location for a second time, but after careful consideration it was determined this would minimise impact to the environment and beach.

“We are working closely with the Environment Agency and Hastings Borough Council on the matter. This decision was taken to prevent properties from flooding and mitigate against risk of further spills elsewhere.

“No pollution is acceptable to our customers or us and we apologise for the disruption this may have. We are committed to making the repair as quickly as possible and to minimising impact on the environment.”

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