Spring is in the Air, and Sewage is in the Sea

Spring has already sprung here on the northern fringes of Bodmin Moor:

February has been fairly dry so far in Cornwall. See the latest South West Water reservoir levels if you find that hard to believe!

However there was some rain last night:

As sure as day follows night, this afternoon the Surfers Against Sewage water quality map reveals yet another sewage pollution incident at Long Rock:

Storm sewer overflow data isn’t yet available from England’s water companies for 2022, but here is The Rivers Trust‘s overview of the Mounts Bay area for 2021:

One cannot help but wonder:

“Why is there simultaneously so little water in our reservoirs and so much sewage in our seas?”

[Edit – February 24th]

A day has passed, and as is usual the red flag at Long Rock remains on the SAS map:

At least it hasn’t been joined by any others. Yet.

[Edit – February 28th]

I don’t recall any heavy downpours recently, but nevertheless both the north and south of Fistral Beach are currently “red flagged” on the Surfers Against Sewage water quality map:

Here’s The Rivers Trust summary of discharges at South Fistral during 2021:

[Edit – March 9th]

Given the current lack of water in Colliford Lake the recent rainfall is very welcome. After a brief respite it’s started again in Davidstow:

However there is a downside to such precipitation as well. Needless to say there are now numerous “red flags” on the SAS water quality map:

One of the pollution warnings is at Widemouth Bay, our local long beach break. That is a bit of a shame given today’s surf forecast:

[Edit – March 11th]

Having brought the information above to the attention of South West Water on Twitter an interesting discussion developed. Here are the edited highlights:

Followed by:


and then:

[Edit – March 13th]

It rained yesterday afternoon and overnight:

Hence after the briefest of interludes our local big beach break at Widemouth Sand has yet again received a red flag on the SAS water quality map:

Mellendreath and Seaton in South East Cornwall are suffering similarly. However on the other side of the precipitation coin, perhaps Colliford Reservoir has started filling up again and is now at least half full?

[Edit – March 16th]

Would you prefer the good news first, or the bad? The good news is that the “red flags” at Widemouth Sand and Pentewan have now disappeared from the SAS sewage pollution map:

As you can see, the bad news is that two red flags have appeared at Fistral, “one of the most famous surfing beaches in the UK”.

There has been some benefit from the recent rain. At least Colliford Lake is now over half full:

[Edit – March 20th]

Spring was in the air again yesterday:

However despite the fine weather sewage is in the sea this morning, at Pentewan once again:

[Edit – April 10th]

South West Water have recently introduced their own Water Fit Live map of recently operating combined sewer overflows. Here’s how it looks today:

[Edit – April 11th]

Following further rain Surfers Against Sewage and South West Water agree that there is now a lot more sewage in the sea around the Cornish Coast:

[Edit – April 22nd]

It’s been raining again in Cornwall, and once again sewage is being pumped into the sea. Here is today’s Water Fit Live map, courtesy of South West Water:

[Edit – April 27th]

We’ve had heavy rain in North Cornwall this morning:

Consequently combined sewer overflows at Widemouth Sand and numerous other Cornish beaches have been in operation:

Following our forced eviction from North Cornwall, coverage of sewage in the sea around South West England continues over in our new home in West Devon:

Summer’s in the air, and sewage is in the sea

4 Replies to “Spring is in the Air, and Sewage is in the Sea”

  1. South West Water have confirmed my suspicions:

  2. After repeated requests South West Water have finally provided an answer to the Fistral question posed above:

  3. In response to my enquiries on Twitter, South West Water eventually had this to say:

  4. Evidently another extended period of wet weather has begun. Widemouth Bay has now joined the ever longer list of “red flags”:

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