Torbay sewage pumping 'not affecting beach water quality'

Livermead, Torquay The seawall along Torbay Road was breached on Monday

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Water quality at beaches in south Devon has not been affected by sewage being pumped into the sea, a council said.

Raw sewage has been allowed into water at Hope's Nose in Torbay after a seawall breach at Livermead in Torquay.

The breach caused part of a road to collapse and threatened a major sewer.

Torbay Council said test results showed bathing water quality had not been affected. It added that it was removing sewage warnings signs on beaches.

The seawall, along Torbay Road, was breached on Monday. South West Water (SWW) had to divert waste flows away from the affected sewer as a result.

Up to 21,000 cubic metres of raw sewage a day was being pumped away from the affected area by using tankers and an emergency overflow at Hope's Nose.

People were warned not to swim at Beacon Cove, Torre Abbey and Hollacombe.

SWW also warned of increased risks of pollution at Shoalstone, Broadsands, Goodrington, Paignton Sands, Preston Sands, Meadfoot, Anstey's, Babbacombe, Oddicombe, Watcombe and Maidencombe.

Repair work

Torbay Council said initial samples taken by the Environment Agency after the sewage pumping showed bathing water quality had not been affected.

However, despite removing warning signs, it added that beach users should exercise caution until the sewage network was back to normal.

A section of Torbay Road has been closed to allow repair work to be carried out.

The council said the initial hole in the wall had been repaired with more than 70 tonnes of concrete.

It added that work was continuing to backfill the hole so SWW could carry out its works on the sewer.

The affected section of Torbay Road will remain closed for most of next week, it said.

Torbay Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders has written to Torbay Council asking why repairs to the seawall planned for February were delayed.

Conservative Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver insisted everything possible had been done.

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