South West sewage alerts scheme to continue through winter

The image is at Godrevy and features discharge from a CSO entering the sea
Image caption Sewage discharges from an overflow onto the beach at Godrevy in Cornwall

Text alerts warning surfers and other beachgoers of sewage around the South West coastline will continue through the winter.

South West Water (SWW) started trial alerts with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) on 21 June at 17 of the region's most popular and Blue Flag beaches.

Beach Live text alerts, triggered by significant overflows, were sent to SAS members and registered users.

SWW also wants to extend the service to up to 25 more beaches from May 2012.

Beach Live had originally been scheduled to close on 30 September.

South West Water's Operations Director Dr Stephen Bird said: "Thanks to this Indian summer, we also know thousands are still using beaches this month and will continue to do so during winter, so on an information only basis we will continue with the service through to next May."

However, beach signs warning of overflows, which were also introduced as part of the scheme, will be removed.

During the summer, Bournemouth Pier topped the list with 16 sewage alerts, while Summerleaze in Bude, north Cornwall and Meadfoot in Torbay had 13.

Beaches like Woolacombe in north Devon did not suffer any sewage discharges all bathing season.

Hugo Tagholm of SAS said: "Wetsuit technology means that people are in the water more in the winter than the summer because the waves are better.

"The end of the bathing season does not mean the end of people using the water."

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