Campaigners hold protest in Sussex over sewage discharges into the sea by Southern Water

  • Video report by ITV News Meridian's Tom Savvides

Campaigners held a demonstration in East Sussex on Friday (26 August) in protest over sewage being discharged into the sea by Southern Water along the south coast.

Members of Clean Water Action say 'enough is enough', and gathered at midday at Azur Beach in St Leonards, before leading a march with red flags and placards.

The protest follows recent sewage releases along the south east coast.

Beachgoers were warned last week not to swim in the water at Seaford in case of sewage washing up on the region's beaches after heavy rain.

Beaches at Bexhill and Normans Bay were also closed off after the sewage was released.

Rother District Council made the decision to shut the beaches off to the public following the incident.

Bexhill beach was closed on Thursday 17 August following a sewage discharge.

Southern Water said protecting the environment was a key priority, and that it was happy to meet the organisers of Friday's event.

A spokesperson said: "We're very sorry about the failure at our Galley Hill site which caused a pollution incident last week.

"Protecting the environment is a key priority for us. With 80 out of 84 bathing waters on our 700 miles of coastline now excellent or good and none below the acceptable stand, clean water provides a huge boost for regional economies.

"While huge investments such as the £300 million Peacehaven wastewater treatment works has transformed the picture from 30 years ago when just 40 per cent of our bathing waters met the acceptable standard, there is more to do.

"Cutting pollution incidents is one crucial task.

"Thanks to our complete transparency around storm water releases public awareness of how combined drains and sewers leads to EA permitted releases through outfalls hundreds or thousands of metres long has grown. The system protects homes, schools and hospitals from flooding but it is clearly no longer acceptable.

"Our Stormwater Taskforce is pioneering an approach which we believe can greatly reduce our reliance on the system. Working in partnership with councils and other stakeholders we are finding ways to cut rainfall out of the network using Southern Water engineering and nature based solutions."