Swimmers are being told “do not go into the water” after an 11-hour sewage release.

The leak is affecting the whole coastline around Shoreham including the River Adur and potentially Worthing, according to Adur and Worthing Councils.

Southern Water said that two pumps failed at its Shoreham wastewater treatment works due to an electrical fault late last night.

The company is investigating for any potential environmental impact and apologised for the leak.

The Argus: People are being advised not to swim around Shoreham Beach, pictured. Picture: Terry ApplinPeople are being advised not to swim around Shoreham Beach, pictured. Picture: Terry Applin

A spokesman for Adur and Worthing Councils said: “Southern Water has informed us about a leak from a local outfall pipe that has spilled waste into the sea.

“The leak took place late yesterday evening and has now stopped, but waste is expected to remain in our coastal waters until 11am on Thursday, January 11.

“The pollution is believed to affect the whole of the Adur district coastline, including the River Adur and potentially Worthing. We highly recommend that visitors to our coastline do not go into the water at this time and take care on the beach.”

It comes amid recent bathing water tests by the Environment Agency for the whole country. The tests were for intestinal enterococci and E coli, both bacteria found in human faeces.


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Worthing got a "good" rating, while Shoreham and Southwick both got an "excellent rating".

Southern Water’s live sewage outfall map, called Beachbuoy, recorded a ten hour 55 minute release between 7.01pm last night and 5.56am today.

A spokesman said: “Late on Tuesday, January 9, two pumps failed at our Shoreham wastewater treatment works due to an electrical fault. This triggered the use of our emergency outfall, 500 metres out into Shoreham Harbour. Releases were screened but not fully treated.

"Our teams worked hard through the night to install a temporary pump, which is releasing flows further out to sea via our long sea outfall. We also we have four tankers transferring flows to a nearby treatment works.

"We are working with the Environment Agency and Adur District Council, and are carrying out investigations on environmental impact. We are very sorry that this is happening and are doing everything we can to fix the issue and minimise impact."

Southern Water did not confirm whether people should avoid swimming.