With the disastrous closing of 15 miles of local beaches due to severe contamination by balls of fat washed out the sewers, the Campaign of Residents Against Portobello (CRAP) has been dealt a mortal blow.

The incident has proved the need for an additional sewage plant is more essential than ever. Brighton's sewage goes into the ancient six-feet-wide sewer pipe and along to the Portobello sewage plant where it receives little treatment before being pumped out of the 1.5km Portobello outfall pipe. From there it drifts westward, which is why the fat contamination starts there and continues for 15-miles west.

Brussels is demanding a zero tolerance attitude towards levels of pollution present in material pumped into Europe's seas and a ruling all sewage must be ultra-violet and anti-bacteria treated is due to be enforced.

Can Brighton's sewage be treated without the Portobello plant? Imagine Brighton and Hove Council's embarrassment if its beaches were closed during the summer or when a conference is being held.

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