'Vomit inducing' stench of sewage at a beach in Cornwall

Outflow pipe at Longrock beach Credit: BPM Media

The stench of sewage at a seaside spot in Cornwall has been described as 'Vomit-inducing'.

Longrock near Penzance is the latest place in Cornwall to be hit by warnings about sewage in the sea after heavy rain across throughout the region.

Surfers Against Sewage says that, so far this bathing season, it has received 654 combined sewer overflow notifications from 171 different locations across the UK.

Longrock, between Marazion and Penzance, is the joint worst-hit spot with Scarborough in North Yorkshire. They have both had 19 incidents of sewage overflow.

There has been growing concern about the number of pollution incidents across Cornwall.

It comes after heavy rain across the duchy following a dry spell, which can overwhelm the sewage system, spilling sewage onto the beaches and out into the sea.

Sewage incidents in Longrock have been a problem to residents for a while, Angus Toby who runs The Hoxton Special Water Sports Centre said: "Cornwall Council doesn't care - whenever I've contacted them to complain, I get passed from one person to another.

Angus Tobey's business has been affected by the level of smell caused by the sewage Credit: BPM Media

He added: "It's the same with South West Water where you just get stuck on hold, and the Environment Agency. It seems no one wants to accept responsibility."

Marazion councillor Richard Stokoe said: "Given the number of kite surfers, kayakers and wild swimmers that dip in the water round there, this is concerning, to say the least. I jogged past there yesterday and the stench was almost vomit-inducing.

"I also know a couple who regularly dip in the waters around here and were exceptionally ill recently. I get it may not be the sewage but it was very coincidental."

A South West Water spokesperson said: “As part of our commitment to protecting the natural environment, we are delivering our largest environmental investment programme in 15 years.

"This will dramatically reduce our use of storm overflows, maintain our region’s excellent bathing water quality standards all year round, and remove our impact on river water quality by 2030.”

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs announced last week that water companies will face new targets on pollution from sewage ever under a new plan to tackle discharges in our waters.

The government’s plan will require them to deliver their largest ever environmental infrastructure investment - £56 billion capital investment over 25 years - into a long-term programme to tackle storm sewage discharges by 2050.