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Raw sewage pumped onto Portsmouth beach

A PORTSMOUTH beach was out of bounds this week after it was flooded with raw sewage from a local pumping station.

Sewage poured onto the beach at Eastney through an emergency outfall when a holding tank at Fort Cumberland pumping station overflowed.

Southern Water said the overflow was caused by contractor Amec closing penstock valves in tanks that hold untreated sewage collected from Portsmouth.

Amec is working on a project to enlarge existing holding tanks. Southern Water is increasing its capacity to accommodate new treatment works at the site.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said it was likely Southern Water would be prosecuted for the incident, adding it was the second sewage flood to affect the Eastney area in the past six months.

In September last year nearby Eastney pumping station flooded after it was overloaded by stormwater following heavy rain. As a result homes in Southsea were submerged beneath 1m of sewage and stormwater.

The Environment Agency is still investigating the Southsea flood. However, a spokeswoman said that Southern Water had failed to provide mobile pumps for emergency clearance.

Southern Water said it was unable to comment while investigations are under way.

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