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Sewage Alerts Turned Off

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8:00am 10th February 2013

Cornwall's sewage alert system is turned off.

It is as South West Water works on improving the way it gives information on overflows into the sea.

But it means the Surfers Against Sewage text warnings will be offline until May.

Hugo Tagholm, director at the St Agnes based charity, says we need to keep an extra eye out:

"We need to be cautious about using the water immediately after a big storm and with the flooding we've seen recently obviously there's a lot of run-off from our streets, our roads and sometimes from our combined sewer overflows.  So, people need to be aware of that.

"People use the sea all year round. Wetsuit technology means that a winter's day is as good as a summer's day to go surfing or to have a sea swim or to go kayaking. So we always want to make sure they have the maximum information that they can to protect their health."

Water bosses say switching the system off means it will eventually include more beaches.

Richard Gilpin from South-West Water said:

"We understand the frustration. It's become part of a very useful service for people like surfers who are going into the sea. We've grown to 41 sites in 2012 and if we want to continue that improvement going forward we have to just stop and re-build the system in the background.

"It's an award winning system and we're really pleased about it and how many people use it. That's why we have to make sure that it's much more reliable, that if we want to continue to grow it in the future so that we're ready to go for the 2013 bathing season."

8:00am 10th February 2013

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