My wife and I enjoyed a short break at Porthleven this past week. We often go there at this time of year as it is quieter and we enjoy storm watching.

We take a cottage close to the harbour - just up from the Ship Inn.

Image my surprise and disappointment on Wednesday, November 29 to see what appeared to be a brown patch in the sea just to the left of the harbour mole.

This gradually grew larger until it covered the sea for half a square mile or more and gradually,(I assume as the tide turned), came to include the outer and then inner harbour.

During the week we enjoyed the sight of swimmers in the harbour and surfers outside the harbour.

I have read reports of them becoming ill in the past from the effects of such discharges.

The following day there was clear evidence of the spill on the mole and once again there were swimmers and surfers both inside and outside the harbour.

On the Friday (December 1) when we walked on the mole you could clearly see water coming from the origin of the discharge just to the left of the mole, although it was now clear.

I had no idea that south west water discharged raw sewage into the sea right next to a working harbour and recreational site. There are no warning signs present.

Those people swimming and surfing amongst the remnants of raw sewage were clearly put at risk to their health. Why is this allowed?

We are presently thinking of downsizing , possibly to southwest Cornwall. Porthleven is, sadly, no longer on our list of preferred locations.


Graham Hart

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