Gull on beach

Work will begin on 15 August along the coastline at Southend as part of a £3 million investment into improving local bathing waters by Anglian Water. 

The scheme will take place between now and end of Spring 2017 and involves installing a number of new storm water tanks to trap more rainwater, reducing the number of overflows that occur during storms and enabling this storm water to be sent to be cleaned before it’s released to sea.

Work will take place on Riviera Drive, Woodgrange Drive, Southchurch Road and Manners Way where there will be some road, pedestrian and parking disruption while the scheme is being completed.

Last year, over 70 per cent of the bathing waters in the Anglian Water region achieved the highest ‘Excellent’ standard, even in the face of the much stricter European standards introduced in 2015. Nine of Essex’ bathing waters were rated Excellent, many of which were awarded Blue Flags.
Jo Matthews, who looks after the coastline in Essex for Anglian Water said: “We have an enormous stretch of coastline in our region and caring for it is hugely important to us. This is why we run volunteering schemes like BeachCare to keep beaches clear of litter, it’s why we host events like the Love our Seaside Sand Sculpture event at Josceleyne’s Beach today, and why we’ve been investing heavily in our coastal equipment for decades and have some of the most sophisticated coastal monitoring systems available. It’s also why we have specialist team focused entirely on beach water quality.

“This latest £3million scheme in Southend will help to reduce the risk of sewer overflows affecting the coast and keep urban pollutants like dirt, car oils and chemicals out of the sea.”
It is these small but cumulative causes of diffuse pollution that are the biggest cause of poor bathing water in the East of England. Diffuse pollution comes from different sources such as:

• Rainwater run-off from roads, roofs, pavements and farmland that washes pollutants such as chemicals, animal mess and litter into the sea
• Misconnected house drains, which have a massive combined impact by sending foul waste out to rivers and the sea as if it were rainwater
• Large populations of roosting birds that cause large quantities of droppings to enter the bathing water
• Dog mess
• Litter
• Trade waste
• Slurry from farms
• Animal waste from fields washing into watercourses when it rains
• Poorly maintained private cess pits and privately owned sewerage systems

Jo Matthews, continued: “We are working with local councils, businesses, farmers, and residents across the coastal region to pinpoint the causes of pollution and tackle them. In addition to this latest investment, we’re spending hundreds of thousands of pounds more on this type of partnership work which is having such a positive impact, especially in places like Southend where this year three beaches won new Blue Flags compared to last.

“We will be working together to identify sources of diffuse pollution using state-of-the-art technology including CCTV, bacterial tracing, marine modeling, sampling and on-foot surveys of the coastal area.

“Tourism is a major contributor to the local economy. Recent report shows East Anglian tourism is booming and we want to work together to make sure our much-loved bathing waters and beaches remain open and a centre-stage attraction for decades to come.”

Further information regarding the planned works starting 15 August can be found on the In Your Area section of our website www.anglianwater.co.uk/your-area.

Sand sculptures at Josceleyne’s Beach

Free sand sculpture workshops for all the family are being held at Josceleyne’s Beach at Chalkwell, Southend, on August 15 and 16th.

The workshops are being led by professional sculptors Sand In Your Eye as part of Anglian Water’s Love Our Seaside campaign. The campaign is assisted by Southend Association of Voluntary Services, Turning Tides and the Southend Carnival Association.

There will be various workshops run throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday, but spaces are limited.

A common seal, native oyster and short-snouted seahorse, which are all protected species along the East Anglian coastline, are depicted in the campaign to help prevent blockages of sewer pipes from fats, sanitary items and wipes, which could also lead to flooding and pollution of beaches. Those taking part in the workshop can have a go at sculpting the characters in the sand.

Workshops are taking place at:
11am - 12.15pm
1.30pm - 2.45pm
3.30pm - 4.45pm

Claire Jamieson from Sand in Your Eye said: “We are really excited to be coming to Southend. The sand sculpture workshops will be an opportunity for everyone to show their creativity and it’s always great to see families working together to create something wonderful.”

The vast majority of all sewer blockages are avoidable. Raising awareness of how to stop this happening and protect bathing water from pollution is the aim of Anglian Water’s campaign.