Southern Water Admits Sewage Discharge

Southern Water has pleaded guilty to discharging sewage into the sea at Margate after heavy storms caused problems at its Foreness Point pumping station.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how heavy rain in June 2012 caused the pumps to become blocked with large amounts of unflushable items like wet wipes.
This meant the station was unable to move the sewage away for treatment quickly enough and it became overwhelmed.

Emergency measures had to be taken to release flows from outfall pipes to prevent wastewater flooding homes and gardens.

It's apologised and says million of pounds have been invested since to try to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Director of Operations Phil Barker said: "We’re working hard with partners including  the Environment Agency and Thanet District Council to ensure that the area’s bathing water is cleaner than ever.

"The majority of Thanet’s beaches regularly achieve ‘excellent’ bathing water quality and have seven blue flags and three seaside awards between them. The beaches also consistently achieve ‘excellent’ status in tourism surveys.
We will continue to invest in the site and work with our partners to ensure Thanet’s bathing waters are clean now and in the future.”
Sentencing has been adjourned until December.

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