A map shows dozens of British beaches that were affected by sewage pollution following heavy rains this week. Photo courtesy Surfers Against Sewage
Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A British charity has issued pollution warnings for more than 40 beaches along the southern portion of the country due to heavy sewage discharges that were caused by heavy rains.
Untreated sewage was discharged into the sea around the coastline this week
Surfers Against Sewage said that dozens of southern and southwestern beaches were affected most by the sewage flowing into popular beach spots in Lincolnshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and South Wales.
The sewage was heavy enough to affect two inland wild swimming spots, as well, near Bristol and near Minehead in Somerset.
"Shockingly unsurprising," the organization said in a tweet. "It's a horrifying sight on our Safer Seas and Rivers Service app today. What's happening? A rainy day and sewage spew into our waterways."
The sewage pollution, which sometimes happens after periods of heavy rain, occurred this week across southern England after a spell of extremely dry weather.
"There were thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rain the night before last and [Tuesday]," said Southern Water, one of the water companies responsible for the affected regions, according to BBC News.
"Storm releases were made to protect homes, schools and businesses from flooding."
Southern Water added that storm releases were made to protect homes, schools and businesses from flooding. The releases, it said, were 95% to 97% rainwater, so it should not be described as raw sewage.
"We know customers do not like that the industry has to rely on these [discharges] to protect them, and we are pioneering a new approach."
Last year, Southern Water was fined more than $100 million after it admitted to deliberately dumping sewage into the sea across Britain's southern coast, BBC News reported.