POPULAR beaches across Cornwall have reported storm sewage being discharged from sewer overflows in the last 48 hours, according to data from the Safer Seas Service.

The beaches, which included Gyllyngvase in Falmouth, Polurrian Cove on the Lizard Peninsula, and Gwithian Towans near St Ives, have all been reported as having discharged storm sewage from outlets in the area within the last 48 hours.

The data, which comes from The Safer Seas Service, set up Surfers Against Sewage, details water quality in coastal regions around the UK and highlights recent pollution incidents that might have occurred. 

The full list of beaches in Cornwall with storm sewage discharges within the last 48 hours are as follows:

  • Millendreath
  • Par Sands
  • Gyllyngvase Beach
  • Swanpool Beach
  • Poldhu Cove
  • Porthleven Sands
  • Sennen
  • Gwithian Towans
  • Godrevy Towans
  • Trevaunance Cove
  • Crantock
  • Mawgan Porth
  • Polzeath
  • Widemouth Sand

The discharges come after Surfers Against Sewage's 2022 Water Quality Report highlighted how many times sewage had been pumped into bathing waters in England, as well as reports of sickness from people using the Safer Seas & Rivers Service. 

In a statement published on its social media page, Surfers Against Sewage said: "Our 2022 Water Quality Report dug deep into the data to uncover dry spills - potentially illegal sewage releases when there has been no rain.

"Over this year's bathing season, sewage was dumped into bathing waters in England 5,504 times, over a total of 15,012 hours.

"We also looked at the impact of sewage spills on human health.

"720 sickness reports were submitted by Safer Seas & Rivers Service users, 400 of which came from bathing waters rated 'Excellent'."

A spokesperson for South West Water said: "There have been permitted storm overflow discharges today (23 December) at some locations in Cornwall, following heavy, localised rainfall.

"Storm overflows are pressure relief values built into our network that are an essential and regulated way to stop homes and businesses from flooding during periods of heavy rainfall.

"We know reducing their usage is an important issue for customers, as is the health of our rivers and seas – and it is one of our key priorities too.

"Our largest environmental investment programme in 15 years, WaterFit, is now well underway, delivering benefits for customers and the environment. Storm overflows are a legacy of our combined sewage system from the 19th century, but through WaterFit, we are investing £330 million in our wastewater network to dramatically reduce our use of storm overflows by 2025 and maintain our region’s excellent bathing water quality standards all year round.

"The South West has some of the best bathing waters in Europe.

"This year we achieved 100% coastal bathing water quality for the second year running across 860 miles of coastline, compared to around 28% in the early 1990s."

The Packet has contacted Cornwall Council, The Environment Agency, and Surfers Aginst Sewage for comment.