Raw sewage has flooded beach huts on Bulverhythe beach.
The beach has been closed and Hastings Borough Council expects the town’s other local beaches to be off limits to swimmers this weekend after a main sewage pipe burst on Wednesday.
Kevin Boorman from HBC says: “We’ve got about 300 beach huts there, in fact the sewage leak is right in the middle of the access road. We believe that a number of beach huts may actually be being flooded by this raw sewage.”
In a statement this morning Hastings Borough Council says it is, “obviously very disappointed” 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. We are expecting the Environment Agency to warn against bathing at other Hastings beaches,” the council says.
HBC is working with Southern Water and Environment Agency following the burst sewage main under the cycle path at that happened on Wednesday.
Southern Water expects repair work to continue over the weekend, and this will restrict vehicular access to many of the ‘West of Haven’ beach huts. It will also mean that Cinque Ports Way is likely to be congested, and the council is asking visitors to the area to park sensibly, and not obstruct access to Southern Water’s work site.
“We obviously hope that the leak is fully repaired as quickly as possible, and that the beach cleaned and reopened,” a council spokesman said.
Dominic Hallett, Southern Water’s operational control manager, said the pumping station had been turned back on after tankers that were being used to bypass the pipe while it was being repaired reached their capacity and were “unable to keep up”.
“We don’t want our environment impacted either. It’s not acceptable for us to just pollute, it’s really not OK,” he said, “so we made a really difficult decision overnight that we needed to turn the pumps on to prevent our customers from getting flooded”.
He added that it was too early to say what had caused the pipe to burst on Wednesday, or how much sewage had been spilled so far.
Southern Water has been ranked by the Environment Agency as among the worst performing water companies for pollution incidents.
Southern Water is contacting the beach hut owners who may be directly affected by flooding.