Friday, 23 May 2014

Southern Water discharge at Foreness Point - update Friday 23 May 16:00

Advice not to enter the water between Walpole Bay in Cliftonville and Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs will now remain in place until Saturday 24 May.
Although water sample tests carried out by the Environment Agency have revealed an improving picture, there is still evidence of further debris being washed onto the shoreline.
The council is hopeful that continuing efforts to clear the remainder of the waste, and further monitoring of the coastline tomorrow morning (Saturday 24 May), could mean that signs advising the public not to go beyond the high-tide line on the beach, may still be removed over the weekend.
Council cleansing teams have been out in force, along with Southern Water contractors, over the past two days as part of a major clean-up operation to remove the debris.
In anticipation of the Bank Holiday weekend, the council will be deploying additional cleansing teams to clear the affected beaches tomorrow following the next high-tides and council officers will continue to monitor the coastline.
This all follows an emergency discharge at the Southern Water Foreness Point Sewage Pumping Station on Wednesday night (21 May).
The area affected currently includes the following beaches:
  • Walpole Bay
  • Palm Bay
  • Botany Bay
  • Kingsgate Bay
  • Joss Bay
  • Stone Bay
  • Viking Bay
  • Louisa Bay
  • Dumpton Gap
Signs remain in place at the affected beaches, advising the public not to go into the sea or to enter the area below the high-tide mark (the sand reached during a high-tide).
Access to the upper area of the beach and the promenades is still permitted and is open to the public, with concessions open for business as usual.
All other beaches across the district are fully open and local events set to take place this weekend will go ahead as planned.
Beaches which are NOT affected include:
  • Minnis Bay
  • Grenham Bay
  • Epple Bay
  • Westgate Bay
  • St Mildred’s Bay
  • Westbrook Bay
  • Margate Main Sands
  • Ramsgate Main Sands
  • Western Undercliff
Director of Operational Services, Mark Seed, said: “Water quality tests from the Environment Agency indicate that the water quality has improved and is continuing to do so. Following a large-scale effort to clear the coastline between Walpole Bay and Dumpton Gap, thankfully the vast majority of debris along the shoreline has also now been cleared.
“We do however still want to advise caution. With two high-tides between now and tomorrow morning, further debris could be washed onto the shoreline. Until our crews have been out in force tomorrow morning, and we have a clearer picture of the remaining impact, it would not be appropriate to provide any change in our advice. Clearly the safety of the public remains our absolute priority.
“We have done all we can to mobilise a large cleansing team ahead of tomorrow and remain hopeful that additional efforts may mean that more positive news can be shared over the weekend.
“In the meantime the message remains that Thanet is still very much open for business, with a number of our beautiful beaches fully open to the public and an array of family-friendly events taking place right across the weekend.”

A further update will be provided early tomorrow afternoon.

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