Protesters wearing hazmat suits and gas marks have poured fake sewage down the steps of a water company’s headquarters.

Activists from Extinction Rebellion dressed up and unfurled banners reading “cut the crap” as part a campaign which involved delivering a letter to Southern Water.

The protest comes after protesters demanded Southern Water stops “illegally pouring sewage into waterways”.

Nicola Harries, 68, an XR protester, said: “My young grandchildren love to play in the sea.

"Southern Water is putting their health and the health of all sea swimmers and water sport enthusiasts at serious risk by allowing untreated sewage to be discharged into the sea.

“It is putting profit before people and planet. This is completely unacceptable and must stop.”

The Argus: XR protesters with fake sewageXR protesters with fake sewage (Image: XR)

The protest is the latest in a number of events which have included erecting satirical blue plaques outside the Southern Water headquarters in Yeoman Road, Worthing.

Protesters previously also unveiled a plaque at Lewes MP Maria Caulfield’s office in Newhaven.


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Statistics from regulator Ofwat ranked Southern Water as the worst-performing water company nationally after recording 93.63 pollution incidents per 10,000km in 2022.

Tom Maidment, 38, another XR protester, said: “The amount of sewage they illegally dump into our waterways make them unusable and unsafe for the local population and deadly to local wildlife.

“The fact they put profits, bonuses and dividends ahead of their customers' safety and their environmental responsibilities shows their attitude towards the issue is as disgusting as what they’re pumping out.”

A Southern Water spokesman said: “We are aware of this demonstration and understand the concerns of those involved.

The Argus: XR protesters with cut the crap bannerXR protesters with cut the crap banner (Image: XR)

“At Southern Water, we play our part in improving the standard of bathing waters, through major investments in treatment works along our 700 miles of coast – and we are working hard to extend our efforts and partnerships with other agencies to make an even bigger positive impact.

"This includes an industry-leading approach to reducing the use of storm overflows when increased surface and groundwater enter our sewers."

Southern Water added that they have not paid dividends to shareholders since 2017 and are investing £2 billion into improving its network.