SEWAGE overspill alerts have been issued for beaches across Falmouth after heavy rain over the weekend.

According to The Surfer's Against Sewage pollution warning app, pollution alerts have been issued at Swanpool and Gyllyngvase beaches saying: "Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours."

Posting on its Facebook page, Life's A Beach cafe says it has also been told of a water quality alert and has just been advised of potential pollution at Maenporth.

The nearest emergency sewer overflow to Swanpool and Gyllyngvase is from the Queen Mary Gardens pumping station that discharges to the sea around 420m east of the bathing area.

Life's A Beach cafe owner Leanne Wright said they were advised of a possible poor water quality and the advice is if there has been any sewage discharge is that two full tides is sufficient to improve water quality.

"Very frustrating," she said.

Local swimmer Anne McCabe said she was at Maenporth Beach yesterday and realised something was wrong: "We were there yesterday (Sunday) and the water running out from the cave to the left as you look out to sea smelt pretty sewage-y.

"I have never smelt it like that before and we live locally and go to the beach a lot."

A pollution alert has also been issued for Porthleven Sands.

South West Water have been contacted for a comment.


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According to the Environment Agency, the UK has a network of "combined sewer overflows," designed to reduce the risk of sewage backing up during heavy rainfall.

It states that such overflows, often found at beaches, are needed to prevent the "inundation" of sewage works and the potential to flood communities.

It said that as a result, they continue to be a "necessary" part of the existing sewerage system, "preventing" sewage from flooding homes and businesses.

However, St Agnes based Surfers Against Sewage has said it has made the ending of sewage discharge into UK bathing waters by 2030 its ambition.

As a result, it has said alternatives such as "nature based" solutions and Government intervention could be used to help achieve their ultimate goal.