Sewage stops sailingSailing clubs in Langstone Harbour on the south coast of England have been warned not to sail this weekend. Local Portsmouth City Council officers are due to fence off Eastney Lake, an area in the south of the harbour, where Southern Water have been pumping a mixture of sewage and water since the floods in Portsmouth last week.
The warning followed the decision of the Environment Agency to allow Southern Water to continue pumping into Langstone Harbour for up to two months, while they repair pumps damaged during the flooding.
Local residents were surprised to find that the pipes laid across the foreshore were not just pumping water, but sewage as well when necessary. Only since the publicity of the Environment Agency decision have the Council and Southern Water taken action to fence the area and place warning notices. Paul Hunt, the Council's Head of Environmental Health, said, "Precautions were not taken earlier because it was hoped the problems would be sorted out before now, and if people bathe in raw sewage there could be health risks, but they are very slight."
In total, five sailing clubs sail and race in Langstone Harbour and the closest to the temporary outfall, Locks SC, has cancelled races due to be held this weekend. Eastney Lake is a popular sailing and mooring area for local yachts and fishing boats in Langstone Harbour, and the foreshore forms part of a popular harbour walk. There are also two local sailing clubs, a fisherman's club and a large marina that access the harbour through Eastney Lake.