Raw sewage and toilet paper filmed flowing into river in Cornwall

  • Watch the video from Turn the Tide Cornwall

A blocked sewer is being blamed for raw sewage and toilet paper being pumped into a river at a popular beauty spot.

The blockage pushed the raw sewage down an overflow pipe before it ended up near a medieval bridge in the Cornish town of Lostwithiel.

Members of the group 'Turn the Tide Cornwall' filmed the incident which happened Sunday 25 September after a number of days of heavy rain.

The bridge is near an area known as 'town beach' with a play area and picnic benches. It is popular with children who paddle and swim in the river.

Andrew Frost, who filmed the sewage, said it's not the first time he has seen raw sewage pouring into rivers in the area.

He said: "I do see a fair bit of pollution, to the point I've had to stop my children swimming in the river and sea."

At the weekend, several pollution warnings were issued for Cornwall's beaches.

The alerts, which provide swimmers and beachgoers with information about water quality, followed a few days of heavy rain, which in turn led to sewage being allowed to overflow into rivers and the sea.

Water companies are permitted to do so at times of really wet weather.

In total, 12 beaches around the county received pollution alerts from the St Agnes-based environmental campaign group Surfers Against Sewage on its water quality app.

South West Water says it has carried out water sampling and there was no impact to the environment. It has since been back to the area to check and clean the pipe.

David Swiggs, regional operations manager with South West Water, said: "We found the foul sewer blocked on North Street. The blockage was cleared and the discharge from the outfall stopped.

"Cleansing work and CCTV will be completed to identify the cause of the problem."