Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Blue Flags will be raised once again on Thanet’s award winning beaches as a precautionary ban on bathing is lifted with immediate effect (Tuesday 12 June).

This decision follows assurances from Southern Water about the operation of their sewage pumping station at Foreness Point.

Results from tests undertaken by the Environment Agency also confirm that water quality has now returned to safe levels to allow bathing in the sea and to re-open access to below the high tide line.

Signage across Thanet’s beaches will be removed throughout the day and will be replaced to advise beach users that the ban has been lifted and to contact Southern Water on 0845 2780845 to report any further incidents.

Local businesses or beach concessions affected by the bathing ban are also advised to contact Southern Water directly to discuss any concerns.

Council cleansing teams will continue to monitor the coastline along with Southern Water to ensure the bays are kept clean of any further debris. Southern Water will also be removing seaweed from the bays as part of this major clean-up operation.

The council’s Director of Operations, Mark Seed, said: “The lifting on of the bathing ban is excellent news, and I’m pleased that we’ve made such rapid progress this week.

“As an area that thrives on tourism, preventing people from swimming in the sea off our coast is something we would rather avoid. However we have a duty of care to members of the public, and couldn’t lift the bathing ban until we received assurances from the Environment Agency and Southern Water.

“Naturally, we’ll continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis, but we feel confident that this matter is drawing to a positive conclusion. Once again, I’d like to thank all those involved in the clean-up operation – their work has been incredible. I’d also like to thank members of the public for their on-going patience, understanding, and co-operation.” 

Members of the Cabinet and senior council officers have been given a number of assurances in relation to the management of the sewage pumping station and future communication with the council. This was following an urgent meeting called by the council last week (Friday 6 June) with senior officials from Southern Water. This will be monitored by the council on an on-going basis.

For further information please visit www.thanet.gov.uk to view our Frequently Asked Questions.

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