DEAD seagulls have been spotted along Southend seafront following a sewage spillage which has moved experts to warn beach-goers from entering the water.

Sewage has spilled onto Jubilee Beach and residents have been advised against swimming at Jubilee, Three Shells and Thorpe Bay beaches.

Last weekend Anglian Water teams discovered a ‘significant blockage’ in a sewer pipe that feeds Southend Water Recycling Centre, causing sewage to spill from one of the outfalls near Camper Road.

Cllr Martin Terry, who lives nearby, said: “There has been a pungent smell for at least four days. It’s so bad that when I walked towards the pipe, and I have a strong constitution, it made me want to vomit.

“There are dead seagulls littered across the beach, this is a serious pollution event and I’m absolutely furious. It begs question marks about Anglian Waters maintenance routines.

He added: “Where the outfall pipe is a site of special scientific interest, there’s also, just beyond where the pipe is, oysters which go into the food chain. There are quite a few serious ramifications for this spillage.”

One resident reported the ‘pungent stench’ of sewage stretched all along Eastern esplanade and into Thorpe Bay.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Our teams are investigating a significant blockage on one of the sewer pipes that feeds Southend-on-Sea Water Recycling Centre.  To enable them to carry out this essential work and maintain normal services, they have mobilised a number of sewer tankers to ensure customers can continue to use their facilities and environmental impacts are minimised.

 “Unfortunately this issue has caused some sewage to spill from one of the outfalls and we are currently carrying out assessments to understand and rectify any impact there.  We are working closely with the Environment Agency and Southend Borough Council in relation to this issue and are doing everything we can to fix the problem.”

Images from the scene show Anglian Water trucks had been called to the scene to pump the contaminated water.

A warning notice has also been erected, advising residents against entering the water until further notice.

Neither the Environment Agency or Anglian water has indicated when it will be safe to return to the water.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We are investigating the release of sewage from Anglian Water’s treatment works onto Jubilee beach in Southend.
“Our specialist officers are assessing the impact of the incident on the area. We currently advise against entering the water at three beaches - Jubilee, Three Shells and Thorpe Bay.

“We urge anyone witnessing suspected pollution in our seas and waterways to contact us on 0800 807060.”