A BEACH hut owner has told of her devastation after a seafront was flooded with raw sewage.

A large pipe carrying upward of 540 litres per second burst at Bulverhythe Beach in Hastings on Friday, flooding the area and the sea with sewage.

Specialist repair contractors and Southern Water employees worked throughout the weekend to repair the pipe, which was switched back on and allowed to leak again, to prevent flooding elsewhere.

However, beach hut owner Catherine Tajima-Powell said the disaster has "ruined summer".

Speaking to the BBC, Catherine Tajima-Powell said: "I'm going home to cry, it's devastating.

"I don't know how they can possibly clean it up.

"The sea and our beaches are everything to our industry and community.

"Southern Water has a record of regularly releasing sewage into the sea.

"It must stop.

"This is such an important place for people. Our summer is ruined.

"Let's face it we aren't going anywhere else, are we?"

In July, Southern Water was fined a record £90 million after bosses admitted dumping sewage illegally thousands of times over a five-year period.

The company pleaded guilty to 6,971 unpermitted sewage discharges - the equivalent to one pipe leaking continuously for seven years.

Tonnes of sewage polluted rivers and coastal waters in Kent, Hampshire and Sussex between 2010 and 2015, a court heard.

Passing sentence, the Honourable Mr Justice Johnson said, of the formal 51 guilty pleas, that the company’s behaviour had been “shocking”.

The criminal prosecution followed a £126 million penalty on Southern Water in 2019 as a result of the company’s regulatory failings over the same period.