Thanet Beaches and the sewage leak
This will be the third year running that I have tried to sort out something sensible to resolve this issue, and I should make it quite clear that that problem isn’t so much a pollution issue as a communication issue.
There is no way that pollution incidences can be avoided, it just isn’t possible because we have far too many people living in the world today, there is no way of reverting to a pre industrial society.
In this particular area of pollution i.e. the contamination of our beaches with sewage, the problem isn’t just a Thanet one, but applies pretty much everywhere in the world where there is a fairly high population living close to the sea.
What happens is that the sewage and the rainwater in fact everything that goes down the drain has to be processed and then discharged into the sea and periodically something goes wrong.
We now know that the sewage leak started last Wednesday and indeed last Thursday I took my family to Westbrook beach where my children swam in the sea. The problem for me is not that the sewage leaked into the sea but that the council didn’t issue any warning until the following Monday and still seem to failing to fly red flags put precautionary notices and beach entrances.
My guess is that this behaviour will once again result in the withdrawal of most of our blue flags and the resultant damage to the local economy.
I tried to sort this one out last year when Thanet lost most of its blue flags, this link takes you to my correspondence with the council’s Commercial Services Manager http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/thanet-blue-flags-some-thoughts-from.html
I also made as much fuss as seemed reasonable during the 2010 pollution incident http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/blue-flags-summer-sewage-sand-and.html
I think the main difficulty here is that the council and councillors have for years gone down the road of covering pollution issues up rather than trying to look for solutions, here is an example of what I mean from Simon Moores on Thanet Life http://birchington.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/interesting-times.html don’t get me wrong here I am not singling out Simon over this issue, rather the reverse as at least he publishes his views on the internet where we can all read them.
But the thread there does I hope illustrate what I am talking about and were proper measures set up to deal with this problem last year or the year before, swimming around in sewage would be a thing of the past.
The picture above is a watercolour of Margate Lighthouse viewed from Westbrook, sorry about the splodgey bits, watercolour painting while supervising ones children on the beach is not an exact art.