New beach sewage warning website for Devon and Cornwall

East Looe The new website will give information on bathing water quality

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Up-to-the-minute updates about bathing water quality at some beaches in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset will soon be available.

South West Water and Surfers Against Sewage are planning to launch a new website in May.

It will include warnings about which beaches have been affected by sewage discharges because of heavy rain.

Andy Cummins, from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), said it had been calling for water quality updates "for years".

Mr Cummins, SAS campaigns manager, said: "People will have a real-time warning when a sewer has overflowed.

"It will allow them to make an informed decision about when they go in the water."

Overflow risk

He said SAS was also looking at providing a text message service for swimmers and surfers already on the beach.

Mr Cummins said the water quality updates were designed to be rolled-out across the UK and South West Water was "taking the lead" in introducing them.

He said there were an estimated 22,000 Combined Sewer Overflows around the UK coastline and after heavy rain there was a risk of them overflowing, discharging sewage into the seawater.

South West Water said the website would initially focus on beaches with Blue Flag status.

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