UK beaches issued dreaded ‘Do not swim’ order after major pollution and sea sewage risk

The public has been warned not to swim at three East Yorkshire beaches after tests revealed the water is polluted.

The Department of Environmental Food and Rural Affairs issued advice against bathing at Fraisthorpe Beach, Wilsthorpe Beach and Bridlington South Beach, about 18 miles south of Scarborough.

The Environment Agency takes weekly water samples at popular swimming spots across the country from May to September, and rates them out of three stars.

While Fraisthorpe and Wilsthorpe still have a two-star water quality rating, while Bridlington only has one, Hull Live reports.

Bridlington South Beach is by far the busiest out of the three; particularly busy this year with the hot weather. The most recent water sample was taken on September 6.

After the dry summer and then the subsequent storms last week, the change in weather looks to have affected the sewerage systems which have been overwhelmed by the flow of water.

Their overflow systems prevent sewage blocking pipes and flooding properties. But whereas Bridlington South Beach and Fraisthorpe have an overflow discharging point, Wilsthorpe does not.

Fraisthorpe received the same pollution risk warnings in 2021 on two separate occasions. The agency has linked the nearby harbour to water quality issues that have seen a rise in Intestinal Enterococci (IE) in the last year. Nearby livestock and agriculture was a possible connection for the drop in quality too.

Last month, charity Surfers Against Sewage urged swimmers to avoid dozens of popular beaches across the country after heavy rain led to the release of sewage.

On August 17, about 50 beaches were identified by the organisation as having had discharges by water companies in the previous two days.

These included beaches in Cornwall, Devon, Sussex, Essex, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Cumbria.

Devon and Cornwall were particularly badly affected, with the Environ ment Agency separately advising against swimming in many beaches around its coastline.

Former frontman of the Undertones, turned environmental campaigner Feargal Sharkey called it “England’s summer of sewage”.

He said: “So here we go. It rains. Water companies dump sewage onto the nearest beach and or into the nearest river.”

He also slammed industry regulator Oftwat calling its actions “a complete and utter failure”.