Sewage in Chichester Harbour
The problem has arisen because of heavy rainfall overloading the local drainage system. This has meant that water leaked into the sewerage system and stopped the effluent flowing away, instead it has been oozing out through people's gardens and along the roads.
In West Sussex, families have been unable to use toilets and bathrooms for days and the sailing community is now worried about the effect on Chichester Harbour, after waste was seen in it. The harbour is a highly-sensitive wildlife area, with huge numbers of seabirds, as well as a haven for thousands of yachtsmen.
The Fishbourne plant (North of Chichester YC and Dell Quay SC) can pump out raw sewage, with nominal filtering, if the surface water system is at full capacity in the area.
Southern Water says it has refurbished part of its sewer system but admitted it was impossible to stop the situation reaching crisis level.
Sailing clubs in Langstone Harbour were warned not to sail during September and October last year and some beach areas were fenced off after Southern Water pumped a mixture of sewage and water into the harbour for several weeks.