Gorleston Beach in Norfolk – which was named best UK beach by Tripadvisor last month – has made the list of beaches where dumped sewage has seeped into the sea.
Surfers Against Sewage said: “Gorleston-on-Sea became popular in Edwardian times and is still a busy seaside resort. A number of sewer overflows discharge into the River Yare that flows to the sea at the northern end of the beach.”
The full list of beaches to avoid includes popular bathing spots.
In Scotland, Dhoon Bay in Kircudbright has been named as one to steer clear of.
Meanwhile, just below the border in North East England, Spittal, Warkworth, Druridge Bay, Amble Links, Blyth South Beach, Tynemouth Cullercoats and Seaham Beach all currently come with a sewage leak warning.
In Lancashire, Blackpool South, Central and North join Morecambe North, Fleetwood, and St Annes as beaches to avoid.
Somerset coastal spots Weston-super-Mare Sand Bay and Weston Main join Dunster North West as places to expect raw sewage spillages in the sea.
On the south coast of England, Bognor Regis East, Aldwick, Brighton, Pagham, Langstone Harbour and Saltdean are also listed.
Additionally, people are being warned to avoid swimming at Cowes, Gurnard and Sandown on the Isle of Weight.
Surfers Against Sewage claim there are “almost 5,500 discharges into UK coastal bathing waters”, in addition to “over 400,000 discharges of untreated sewage into UK rivers’’.
The group blames polluters and poor waste management for these sewage discharges.
Last year, Labour MP Jim MacMahon called the sewage leaks a “scandal.”
The shadow environment secretary said that under a Labour government, the party would impose “mandatory monitors on all sewage outlets” as well as “automatic fines for every single sewage discharge”.
Swimming in water contaminated with raw sewage can cause serious illness.
On the Surfers Against Sewage website, the environmental activist group outlines that “the sheer volume of pollution entering our water means the UK consistently ranks as one of the worst European countries for coastal water quality.”
Izzy Ross, campaigns manager for the marine conservation charity told The Independent: “When it rains, sewage pours.
“We wish it was surprising to see the mammoth spike in sewage pollution alerts when it rains. We know all too well that the current sewage infrastructure can’t cope with rainfall after decades of underinvestment. It will continue as long as profiteering water companies, lax regulators and a blundering government let it happen.
“It’s horrific that our waterways pay the price, whilst water companies profit from pollution. Not only is sewage pollution vandalising our environment, the public rely on our blue spaces for our health and wellbeing.
“To make informed decisions about when and where you use the water, use our Safer Seas and Rivers Service app to get live alerts on sewage pollution incidents.”
An Environment Agency spokesperson told The Independent: “Storm overflows are a necessary part of the current sewerage network. They act as relief valves which prevent the system from overloading during high rainfall which would otherwise result in sewage flooding homes, roads and open spaces.
“We are holding the water industry to account on a scale never seen before –s ecuring record fines of over £142 million since 2015 against water companies, launching a major criminal investigation into potential non-compliance at wastewater treatment works, and driving up monitoring and transparency to ensure the public can see what is going on.
“We will always seek to hold those responsible for environmental harm to account.”
A Defra spokesperson told The Independent: “We have brought in comprehensive monitoring, driven increased investment and are taking tougher enforcement on those companies that breach their permits to ensure they are held to account.
“We’ve put the strictest targets ever on water companies, requiring them to deliver the largest infrastructure programme in their history. This will mean an estimated £56 billion in capital investment over the next 25 years to reduce sewage discharges, building on the 800 improvements to storm overflows happening right now.
“The Secretary of State has also demanded action plans on every storm overflow in England, prioritising those that are spilling into bathing waters and high priority nature sites.”
The full list of 83 UK beaches where raw sewage has been dumped nearby
- Dhoon Bay
- Amble Links
- Druridge Bay North
- Druridge Bay South
- Blyth South Beach
- Tynemouth Cullercoats
- Seaham Hall Beach
- Seaham Beach
- Seaton Carew North
- Redcar Coatham
- Redcar Granville
- Redcar Stray
- Marske Sands
- Scarborough North Bay
- Scarborough South Bay
- Bridlington South Beach
- Gorleston Beach
- Southend Three Shells
- Southend Jubilee Beach
- Sheerness Canterbury
- Minster Leas
- West Beach, Whitstable
- Herne Bay Central
- Herne Bay
- St Marys Bay (Kent)
- St Leonards
- Normans Bay
- Pevensey Bay
- Brighton Kemptown
- Brighton Central – Brighton
- Hove Lawn
- Bognor Regis East
- Bognor Regis (Aldwick)
- Langstone Harbour
- Southsea East
- Stokes Bay
- St Helens
- Whitecliff Bay
- Colwell Bay
- Totland Bay
- Dunster North West
- Weston Main
- Weston-super-Mare Sand Bay
- Wharfe at Cromwheel – Ilkley Bathing Water
- St Annes
- St Annes North
- Blackpool South
- Blackpool Central
- Blackpool North
- Morecambe North
- Walney Biggar Bank
- Walney Sandy Gap
- Walney West Shore
The Independent has contacted the Environment Agency for comment.