BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Beaches affected by sewage spill
Teignmouth Beach
Teignmouth Beach is one of four affected by the sewage spill
Swimmers have been warned to stay away from four beaches in south Devon because of a burst sewage main.

The Environment Agency and South West Water have spent Friday afternoon trying to contain the problem in Teignmouth.

But sewage has been flowing into the sea all day.

The beaches affected are Teignmouth Main and Back, Shaldon Beach and The Ness.

Teignbridge District Council is warning people to stay away from the town's beaches and red warning flags have been put up.

We are talking about all of Teignmouth's sewage, which amounts to 4-6,000 cubic metres of sewage each day
Robert Harwood, Environment Agency
South West Water says their contractors have been working to repair the leak as quickly as possible.

But they said the faulty pipe, which carries waste from Teignmouth to Newton Abbot, is proving difficult to put right because it is in a deep, awkward location.

The company says it is taking most of the effluent away from the site by tanker.

Temporary repair

Environment Agency spokesman Robert Harwood said: "Earlier this afternoon, South West Water did a temporary repair on the pipe, but when the pumps were switched back on, the repair didn't hold.

"They are now removing the temporary repair and replacing the section of the pipe which is affected.

"They are hoping to have the work completed by mid-morning on Saturday."

Mr Harwood said he was unsure as to how much sewage had escaped into the river estuary.

"Some has been stored in tanks and some taken away by tankers, but we are talking about all of Teignmouth's sewage travelling through that pipe, which amounts to 4-6,000 cubic metres of sewage each day."

The BBC's Samantha Simmonds
"Repairs could last through the weekend"

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific