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RNLI lifeguards clear sea of bathers and surfers after ANOTHER sewage alert at Godrevy and Gwithian

By West Briton  |  Posted: August 02, 2014

Godrevy Beach

South West Water are coming under increasing pressure after repeated releases at Godrevy and Gwithian.

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Surfers and holidaymakers reported yet another sewage incident at popular Godrevy Beach yesterday turned the waters brown.

RNLI lifeguards cleared swimmers and surfers from the sea at around 4pm yesterday after receiving a warning from Surfers Against Sewage's text alert system.

It is believed yesterday's heavy downpours again led to a dramatic discharge into the sea at Godrevy from storm drains located further up the Red River towards the sewage's source - Camborne and Redruth.

Concerns over safety at the beach led to continued disruption today, with companies like Shore Surf Cornwall cancelling some surf lesson sessions and moving others to St Ives.

Although experts say the brown colour is more likely to be soil than sewage, the latest release into the sea from storm overflows has led to fear among visitors and anger amongst locals.

Surfer Rory Steadman, who was on the beach yesterday afternoon, Tweeted Surfers Against Sewage today to say: "It was terrible that Godrevy Beach had to close yesterday due to raw sewage running into it and cutting our surf short."

He told The Cornishman today: "The lifeguards told us to get out at 4pm, little did we know the sewage had been flowing into the sea since 12.

"The river that flows into the sea had turned the waves brown, the sea still isn't 100% safe now, 24 hours on!"

This is the latest in a series of at least three incidents at Godrevy in recent months.

In July the Environment Agency moved to calm fears by explaining the brown water was most likely from soil washed off fields by heaven rain.

They released the following statement: "The Agency believes it is highly likely the brown water seen off Godrevy and Gwithian on Saturday was largely caused by soil run off and material washed into the Red River from an upstream road scheme and not a sewage slick as widely reported. Screened sewage tends to be grey in colour – not red/brown as depicted in photographs of a discoloured area of the sea at Gwithian/Godrevy at the weekend."

However, surfers and other beach users instead South West Water should be doing more to stop the releases.

Just last week 170 people gathered on adjoining Gwithian Beach to protest at the releases, calling on South West Water to stop pumping effluent into the sea via the system of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) which divert waste after heavy rain.

At the end of June South West Water issued a public apology after a release led to the cancellation of a major surf competition. The company say the storm overflows are vital and do not pose a threat to the public. 

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  • break  |  August 02 2014, 4:47PM

    Its alright, its perfectly within the law for sewage to be released into the sea. And the sewage isn't directly released into the sea, its released into Red River, which I would think means that that river is now a type of open sewer, and that SWW should contribute towards the upkeep of the river. Try looking on the river banks for deposits, which SWW should periodically clean but don't.

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