Devon

Combe Martin beach gets £2m sewage clean-up

Combe Martin
Image caption South West Water is hoping the work will mean Combe Martin meets EU bathing water standards

A £2m project has started to clean up seawater once branded one of the 10 worst-quality bathing waters in the UK.

South West Water (SWW) is installing large storm water storage tanks to stop sewage being discharged into the sea at Combe Martin in north Devon.

Improvements will also be made to two sewage pumping stations in the village.

SWW has spent £80,000 improving sewers and farmers have put in fencing to keep cattle out of a river which flows into the sea at Combe Martin.

It is hoping the work will mean Combe Martin, branded one of the 10 worst-quality bathing waters in 2011, will meet a "sufficient" European bathing water standard in 2015.

From then, there will be four bathing water classifications; excellent, good, sufficient and poor.

Gary Mallinder, of Combe Martin Tourism Association, said: "We live off this bay and this beach, it's all we have got and it's a fantastic area.

"But we need the clean water."

The new storage tanks are expected to be completed by March 2015.

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