Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Thanet beach Pollution Report Published
Chairman of Thanet Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Ian Driver, has welcomed the publication of a report into the major sewage pollution incident which led to the week-long closure of Thanet’s award winning beaches in June 2012.
He said “this is an extremely thorough report which looks at the lessons to be learned following this terrible incident. The report makes 15 important recommendations which will ensure that if something similar was to happen again we would be much better prepared and we would act a lot quicker”.
The key recommendations are -
· Produce and adopt a Contingency Plan for the closure of Thanet Beaches which should be based on the best practice framework model for the South East Region to be developed by the Environment Agency;
· Thanet District Council should be responsible for signage and dissemination of information during emergencies
· Generic large signage boards (AO size) should be in store; ready to be deployed at strategic points of public access only to the beaches affected by the emergency event. The response to emergencies should be measured and appropriate and ensure that beaches not affected are not closed
· Social media (to include face book, twitter and local radio stations) should be used to alert the public about the contamination on the beaches;
· After the beaches have been cleaned, signage should be put up to let visitors and the public know that the beaches are now clean and open. Appropriate signage, including social media should be used to advertise that the beaches have been cleaned and are safe
· Southern Water’s response time between alarm action and the physical presence of staff to an emergency site should be 20 minutes and Monitoring CCTV facility should be installed at strategic points at Foreness Point Pumping Station in order to enable early response to emergencies;
· Southern water after a prolonged period of drought, there should be more frequent jet washing of the sewer system particularly along known pinch points
The report & its recommendations will be approved by the meeting of Thanet’s Overview & Scrutiny Panel on 20th December.
Said Driver “I would like to thank everyone who gave evidence to the working group. We now need to begin working with Southern Water and the Environment Agency to implement the report recommendations which will help us deal with any future incidents of beach and sea pollution more effectively”.
For more information contact Cllr Ian Driver on 07866 588766
The report can found at this link