Where sewage is being emptied in rivers and waters around Yarmouth
- Credit: experience.arcgis.com
A new interactive map is revealing where and how often raw sewage is released into Great Yarmouth's rivers and seas.
The data has been published with a message to "avoid entering the water immediately downstream of these discharges" especially after it has been raining.
The release of sewage through storm drains should only done in "exceptional circumstances", but campaigners say it happens routinely.
Across the Yarmouth borough, the map - compiled by The Rivers Trust charity using data from the Environment Agency - shows a string of discharges along the Rivers Yare and Bure.
Numerous other locations were affected by dumpings of treated effluent, which the charity says can still be harmful.
The largest was from Caister's Pump Lane sewer storm overflow which in 2020 spilled 61 times for a total of 436 hours into the sea.
According to the map it was down to an "operational issue" that is now resolved.
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Elsewhere there were discharges along The Bure at Jellicoe Road,. Tar Works Road, Garrison Road and Sidegate Road in Runham, and along the River Yare at the Town Hall, Bryant's Quay, Brush Quay, Suffling Road, Baker Street, and Brush Bend.
Mark Bradnum, regional representative for Surfers Against Sewage said the situation at Caister, was akin to "dumping it all straight on the beach".
He said: "It's not just the horrendous amount of sewage its also the amount of plastics like cotton buds that ends up on the beach when they open the gates.
"So many water users report illnesses on the days that show a red alert .They are effectively swimming in raw sewage."
Mr Bradnum said utility companies like Anglian Water should be forced to do more to control discharges by investing in their infrastructure, adding the problems were only going to get worse due to climate change.
Anglian Water says it pumps treated wastewater into the sea via its outfall pipe all the time under strict discharge permits from the Environment Agency. It said the EA also permits storm discharges which include raw sewage, and that it had 93 such occasions between August 2020 and August 2021.
Explore the map by clicking the link here.