Dozens of protesters took to the beach to criticise recent sewage spills at a bathing site.

Sea swimmers and concerned citizens chanted and held placards calling for sewage spills at Kingston Beach at Southwick to end.

The protest comes as organisers say that a spill just 100 metres from the winter swimming site has been dumping raw sewage in the waters for more than 300 hours since Christmas. The amount of sewage is thought to be enough to fill nearly six Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Craig Loud, 56, a regular sea swimmer at the beach, said: "As awareness is raising of what is in the water it's time to make a stand.

The Argus: A child holding a poster at the protestA child holding a poster at the protest (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

"It just can't go on. My kids swam down here when they were toddlers, it's absolutely appalling."

Another protester added: "A few years ago I got as ill as I have ever been the day after surfing in the harbour. It's had a physical impact on me and we want to maintain the condition of the water."

The protest, organised by Surfers Against Sewage, comes as they say a Combined Sewer Overflow near the beach has been dumping untreated wastewater into the Southwick waters for more than 300 hours.

Many protesters wore gas masks and other protective clothing to highlight the issue of raw sewage being dumped into waters in the area and across the Sussex coastline.

Residents and families of all ages waved placards and held banners showing their support for the cause.

The Argus: Others holding placards at the eventOthers holding placards at the event (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

The protest follows other similar demonstrations across the coastline in recent months including on Brighton beach in the summer.

Surfers Against Sewage are calling on Southern Water to immediately end the sewage dumping and for Adur District Council to post warnings about the water quality in the area.

The group also want the council to make Kingston Beach a designated bathing beach in an effort to give the waters in the area more protections.


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Stu Davies, a local representative for Surfers Against Sewage, said: "It's wonderful to see so many people. It shows how much people care about this topic.

"It's disappointing that this is happening but it's nothing new.

"It's really affecting people because they are really hesitant to go in the water now. That affects their health and wellbeing and its being taken away from them."

The Argus: Protesters calling on Southern Water to stop sewage dischargesProtesters calling on Southern Water to stop sewage discharges (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

In response to the protest, Tom Gallagher, bathing water lead for Southern Water, said:  “We share our communities’ passion for our local environment . Myself and many of my colleagues live along our beautiful coastline and care deeply about protecting and enhancing these important areas. 

“This is why we are investing heavily in our innovative Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force to reduce storm overflows as quickly as possible, and in our ambitious Turnaround Plan to deliver improvement in our performance across the board.  

“Only through close working with partners like councils, regulators, the agricultural and industrial sectors, and environmental groups, we will be able to deliver the results our customers and environment deserve.”