Ramsgate beach closed over new sewage alert

Beach cleaners on a beach in Thanet
Image caption A separate spill in the summer closed Thanet's beaches for nearly two weeks

The beach at Ramsgate has been closed after sewage leaked from a burst pipe.

Southern Water engineers shut off the sewer as soon as the leak, in Military Road, was discovered, but some sewage had already reached the beach.

A fleet of tankers is removing the wastewater for treatment, allowing householders to continue using their facilities as normal.

Temporary traffic lights are operating in Military Road while the spillage is cleared up and the pipe repaired.

The latest pollution alert follows a major spillage in the summer, which closed more than 20 of Thanet's beaches over the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

The district council launched an inquiry following the spill in June when the Southern Water pumping station at Foreness Point failed, allowing raw sewage to flow directly into the sea.

A Southern Water spokesman said the latest problem was caused by a cracked sewage pipe, the cause of which is being investigated.

The beach has been closed "as a precaution", and signs have been placed on entrances at the Western Undercliff advising the public not to go on it.

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