A series of pollution alerts have been issued for beaches across Devon after a night of heavy rain.

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) reported that storm sewage overflow had been discharged in the area within the last 48 hours, potentially affecting the quality of bathing water.

Pollution alerts often spike after heavy rainfall, as overflows are used to prevent the drainage system from being overwhelmed, leading to discharge into the sea. Additionally, alerts can result from agricultural runoff being washed into rivers during wet weather. Over the past 48 hours, SAS has issued pollution alerts for 20 beaches in Devon. The organisation provides water quality updates from more than 400 locations across the UK through its Safer Seas & Rivers Service. Water pollution notices have become more common in the UK, especially in the South West, in recent years. Legally, water companies are allowed to discharge waste into the sea and rivers after exceptionally heavy rain to prevent the network from backing up and causing flooding to roads, homes, and businesses.

According to the SAS Safer Seas and Rivers Service map, the following are some of the Devon beaches currently have active pollution alerts as of today, Tuesday, July 9:


  • Exmouth
  • Budleigh Salterton
  • Sidmouth Town
  • Beer
  • Seaton
  • Lynmouth
  • Teignmouth Town
  • Teignmouth Holcombe
  • Dawlish Coryton Cove
  • Paignton Sands
  • Preston Sands
  • Torre Abbey
  • Beacon Cove
  • Meadfoot
  • Babbacombe
  • Shaldon

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