Turquoise sea turns BROWN as raw sewage is pumped into water along beautiful Cornish coastline
- The pictures were taken at St Agnes beach on Cornwall’s northern coastline
- Dark brown water was photographed mingling with the idyllic turquoise sea
- Most were horrified by the images, but a former Tory MP said it was ‘good news’
Raw sewage was pictured being pumped into the sea on a Cornish beach on Sunday in the latest incident of a swathe of water pollution incidents this year which has left many beaches unusable.
St Agnes Beach in Cornwall is well-known among locals and tourists alike for its beautiful scenery, charming village and great surfing conditions.
But the usually-turquoise water was turned completely brown on Sunday morning after Cornwall’s water company, South West Water, appeared to have allowed raw sewage to be discharged into the ocean.
Video footage online shows a huge mass of dark brown sewage in the water, right on the coastline, which slowly mingles with the pale blue sea alongside it.
One social media user shared the photo with the caption ‘Speechless’.
But former Conservative MP for Dorset East Sir Michael Take said the sewage discharge was ‘safe’ and ‘good news’ for the UK.
Water companies across the UK have come under heavy fire this year as millions of gallons of untreated sewage have been allowed to contaminate the country’s oceans.
The usually picturesque St Agnes Beach (right) has caused outcry from the public today after raw sewage was pumped into the sea
The usually-turquoise water at St Agnes was turned a dark brown colour as untreated sewage was released
Footage of the sewage was shared by Surfers Against Sewage, a campaign group fighting against allowing any sewage to be released into UK waters
Not everyone was horrified by the sewage: one former MP said the pictures were ‘great news’
The murky brown water could be seen far out into the ocean, making the beach unusable for swimmers and surfers
Although it is illegal to dump sewage in many scenarios, if water overflows get too full water companies have little choice but to allow the sewage to enter the sea to free up space.
As of 5pm on Sunday, eight of Cornwall’s beaches were unusable due to recent sewage releases, according to Surfers Against Sewage.
Regular sewage dumping harms the ocean’s wildlife and creatures, but also poses a risk to humans too, due to the harmful bacteria it can carry.
After today’s images were seen online, there was widespread backlash to the pollution.
Some described the images as ‘unbelievable’ and ‘truly awful’. Another said: ‘Heartbreaking to see that – South West Water please stop this sewage dumping.’
But Former Conservative MP for Dorset East, Sir Michael Take CBE, said: ‘This is sewage being sensibly dispersed at St Agnes in Cornwall today.
‘You’ll see the beach is empty so NO ONE is being harmed. This would of course have been stopped by the nit picking EU.
‘Brexit means we can now employ such SAFE procedures. Good news!’
He received furious backlash online after sharing the footage.
In August it was revealed that water companies had spent more than nine million hours pumping raw sewage into Britain’s seas and rivers since 2016.
Environment Agency figures reveal the staggering amount discharged into areas including tourist and bathing hotspots.
At the time of the release, Labour warned the actual number of hours was likely to be far more.
The data showed that since 2016, raw sewage has been released into the UK’s seas and rivers for at least 9,427,355 hours.
It also showed there has been a 2,553 percent increase in the number of monitored discharge hours between 2016 and 2021.
In 2016, the Environment Agency recorded sewage being discharged for just 100,533 hours.
By 2021, that figure had rocketed to 2,667,452.
South West Water has been contacted for comment.