North Fistral, Newquays jewel in the towns water sports crown has been affected by CSO discharges.

Newquay’s town council has voted to declare a water emergency and demand Cornwall County Council, Conservative MP Steve Double and the Government hold the South West Water account for their frequent dumping of sewage into the sea and have written other company to ask them to attend a meeting to discuss fast track remedies.

The council is writing to the polluter, rated as one of the worst performing water companies in the UK, after beaches including Crantock, South Fistral, North Fistral and Porth were affected by CSO discharges this summer.

It wants a plan to deal with sewage failure implemented asap. Councillor Drew Creek put forward the motion after more than 100 members of Newquay Surf Life Saving Club were unable to complete lifesaving training due to sewage pollution.

“What South West Water are doing by continuing to dump sewage into our oceans is abhorrent and I am pleased the council will finally hold them to account. I look forward to working with our MP Steve Double and the council to ensure that South West Water stops polluting our waters.

Todays alerts

Other Cornish resort towns also affected have been St Agnes, St Ives, Bude, Falmouth, Porthleven, Pentewen (St Austell), Looe, and Sennen.

According the Safer Seas app
Fistral North has had 7 sewage alerts in 2022, and 30 alerts in 2021
Fistral South had 7 alerts in 2002 and 29 alerts in 2021
The National Trust run Crantock beach had three alerts in 2022 and 22 alerts in 2021, it is also affected by the Fistral South CSO.
Mawgan Porth had 5 alerts in 2022 and 23 alerts in 2021

Until recently water companies were only supposed discharge in exceptional circumstances, but were not held to account by the Environment Agency. The government announced a plan to deal with the problem but it effectively pushed back compliance dates and legalised CSO discharge

“This is really the big change that allows the water industry to pollute with impunity.; said SAS’s Hugo Tagholm. “I’m stoked that the data transparency we campaigned for has exposed what the industry has been doing since 1989.”

King Charles, was announced as patron of Surfers Against Sewage in Newquay.

Councillor Drew Creek said “After a recent sewage event a number of residents and I suspect, all of us as residents of Newquay will have been disappointed to see sewage flowing into the local waters and making the coastal waters around Newquay unsafe for people and wildlife.

“In fact it is well reported that South West Water, according to the Environment Agency, are one of the worst performing water companies having never in the last 12 years appeared above two out of four stars for annual performance after assessment of performance across all EPA metrics.

“The latest data on the Environment Agency website shows that South West Water has been either requiring improvement or poorly performing for the past decade. All during a time where their shareholders have pocketed huge payout to shareholders. As consumers we are forced to be a customer of South West Water, they have a monopoly on our custom and treat it with a level of contempt for the safety of the local environment and those who choose to live and use the waters around Newquay.

“As residents have no choice but to pay for the services of South West Water, it is therefore incumbent upon us as community representatives and town council to put pressure on South West Water to urgently deal with the issues of sewage discharging into local waters.”

Steve Slade a local resident said

“This is a disgrace. Members of the public are fined if their dog craps on the beach yet South West Water can dump in our seas with apparent impunity.

“Clean waters are essential for a balanced eco systems, water users and in contaminated seafood, but also the reputation of Newquay as a destination. The reputation of our town is being damaged, and we are dependent our clean seas and beaches to attract tourists and business.

“Our MP, Steve Double, was the minister for water, so is well placed to explain to the people and businesses of Newquay what processes have been put in place to stop the pollution of our seas and beaches, so the horrific spills of last summer are not repeated.”

It is hoped other Cornish town councils will also act.