Swimmers are being told not to go in the sea around Worthing and Lancing as a power cut has led to sewage draining into the sea.
Southern Water said: “We have emergency action plans in place in Worthing following a total power outage to our East Worthing Pumping station overnight on Tuesday 11 July.
“We immediately activated these plans in order to protect homes and business in the town from flooding, and have brought in tankers and flood defences as a precautionary measure.
“Although we released excess wastewater via our long sea outfall, which is 3KM out to sea, this stopped at 12:50pm and we activated our beach patrol team to monitor the area.
“We now have generators on site, meaning the site will be fully functional again soon and are working hard to fix the issue. “We are working closely with our colleagues at the Environment Agency and Local Authority, as well as keeping the emergency services informed.”
A statement from Worthing Borough Council said: “There is currently a Short Term Pollution warning for a risk of ‘reduced water quality due to sewage’ at Lancing Beach Green and Worthing designated bathing waters (located at the foot of Heene Road). This is due to an issue with Southern Water’s wastewater works in east Worthing. It is therefore advised to not bathe in the sea at, or around these areas.”
Southern Water sent its beach patrol team to inspect the coastline for sewage, from Brooklands to Lancing Beach Green, and was ‘pleased to confirm there is no evidence of any sewage or sewage debris’.
Using a computer modelling programme, Southern Water said tides took the sewage further out to sea, not back towards the shore.