Homes flooded and section of coast closed after heavy rainfall blocks drains

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Sarah Saunders

Swimmers in Kent are being warned not to enter the sea between Whitstable and Herne Bay, and homes have flooded, after sewage was released into the water following heavy rainfall.

It is a situation Canterbury City Council has described as becoming "disappointingly normal".

A spokesperson said: 'We share everyone's frustration especially in light of recent events.

''We continue to monitor the situation closely and to push Southern Water to do all it can to minimise the effects of its operation on our coastline.

''While we continue to lobby Southern Water and the EA, it is the EA that has the power to take action against Southern Water.''

Watch: Homeowner shows how drain blockage has affected his home

Some businesses and homes have been affected by flooding as drains struggled to cope with the rainfall.

One victim says drains at the front and the rear of his property failed.Mihai Trofin said: "The drainage is supposed to be clean and empty, enough to take on a lot of water. But it looks like all the drainage in this area and the next street - they're all blocked."

Southern Water said it has been visiting customers to assess their situation and is now carrying out an investigation into what, along with the weather, caused the flooding.

A spokesperson said: "Flooding is a traumatic experience and our priority at this time is to minimise the impact on our customers. We’re sending additional teams to the area to ensure we provide clean up support as quickly as possible.

"DEFRA and Ofwat have been notified."

The incident follows a similar incident on 7 August when the sea between Tankerton and Herne Bay was closed off to swimmers after a sewage spill by Southern Water.

A system fault at Southern Water's Swalecliffe Treatment Works resulted in wastewater overflowing and entering a nearby brook.

Elsewhere protestors have gathered on the Sussex coast on Friday (20 August) to voice their anger at Southern Water for 'repeatedly' polluting the sea and rivers.

In July, Southern Water was fined a record 90 million pounds for dumping billions of litres of raw sewage into the sea over 6 years to avoid financial penalties and the cost of upgrading infrastructure.