Swimming group demand improvement in sewage system after spills into bathing pool

A cold water swimming group in Porthcawl has held a protest after raw sewage spilled into the sea following heavy rain.

Recent downpours left infrastructure unable to cope, resulting in overflows from the sewage system into bathing pools.

The Porthcawl Bluetits, along with other members of the community, gathered on Newtown Beach on Saturday where they formed a giant SOS, to highlight the need to "save our seas" from future spills.

Sewage was discharged earlier this week at both Rest Bay and Sandy Bay. That led to the local surf club cancelling lessons due to concerns to people's health.

Wendy Broom, one of the members of the Porthcawl Bluetits, says she is really worried about the longterm impact of sewage spills.

"It isn't just the swimmers, and local residents, it's all the local businesses as well. There's this huge holiday park here, Trecco Bay, which is one of the largest in Europe and there are lots of people on it, it's prime time, it's school holidays and all these people are going to be affected as well.

"It's something that we have to protest about and we have to raise people's awareness and the government and Welsh Water...we have to keep the pressure up because this needs to be dealt with before even more extreme weather conditions come in."

In response to the situation, a spokesperson from Welsh Water has said:

"Heavy rain hit large parts of south Wales on Tuesday with some areas like Swansea seeing its wettest day since May and some areas experiencing flooding.

"Despite the widespread rain, only two combined storm overflows (CSOs) operate at designated bathing waters which is what they are designed to do when the wastewater network in an area reaches capacity due to the volume of rainwater in it. 

"The spills were compliant with our permit to operate them, and as we always do with these CSOs, we sent notifications to Surfers Against Sewage so that they were aware and could notify their members.

"We appreciate that people do have concerns when CSOs operate at bathing waters but they are essential to prevent sewage water from backing up into people's properties during heavy rain and we are also transparent with interested parties when they do operate."