Devon

Plymouth seafront water 'unsafe' after sewage discharge

Plymouth Hoe
Image caption People should not go into the water along the Hoe Foreshore, the city council says

People have been warned again not to go into the water along Plymouth's seafront following water tests carried out after a sewage spill.

Plymouth City Council said the tests' initial results showed there were increased risks to health after the screened sewage discharge.

The warning would remain in place until further notice, it added.

However, the council said the Hoe's Tinside open-air lido was still safe. Agencies are monitoring the pollution.

Pumps damaged

The council's principal environmental health officer, Andy Netherton, said: "We were hoping the tests would show that the discharge had been taken out to sea, but this is not yet the case."

People were first warned not go into the water along the Hoe Foreshore or within the Breakwater on Friday.

It followed the spill into the River Plym on Thursday from South West Water's Plymouth central waste water treatment works at Cattedown.

The sewage was discharged after three of the four main pumps inside a 130ft (40m) well at the water works were damaged.

South West Water said urgent repairs were being carried out.

The council is monitoring the situation along the foreshore with the Environment Agency, the Health Protection Agency and South West Water, it said.

If anyone who had used the water became unwell - particularly with symptoms including sickness, diarrhoea, stomach cramps or fever - they should contact their GP or NHS Direct, the council said.

People could still swim in Tinside as no fresh water supplies were currently being extracted from Plymouth Sound. Extra water quality testing was going on as a precaution, the council added.

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