Shouldn’t we be told which beaches failed the pollution test?

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From Keith Shaw.

LIKE most residents, I was appalled to read the recent front-page news about raw sewage entering the sea from several different locations from First Tower to Gorey for over three years. The report provided a gloomy picture for anyone who loves Jersey beaches, the seascape and seafood.

I can only hope that you continue your investigations into the source of the e-coli bacteria found in the east coast fish and shellfish. Because the quantity of sewage involved is likely to be quite high, it is not hard to imagine where it is potentially coming from.

What is also damning is the length of time it has been going on for and, apparently, how little Environment appeared to be able to do to halt this unsavoury practice.

This might cause residents to question exactly how well our health is being protected by these two departments and if there is a need for an independent investigation and, in future, an independent environmental protection department – one with powers and teeth!

The story published in advance of the Scrutiny Panel’s inquiry outcome into the likely sources and effects of potential pollution from toxic ash is highly appropriate, as some scientists believe that there is a strong link between e-coli and heavy metal pollution.

The Scrutiny Panel initially focussed on the incinerator excavation site, but would have inevitably been drawn into the links to the larger works at the Castle Quay site adjacent to the Radisson Hotel.

This is apparently flooded to a depth of up to two metres twice a day by millions of gallons of seawater entering and exiting the excavations. Both sites were the locations of thousands of tons of toxic ash from Jersey’s Mass Burn Municipal Waste Incinerator at Bellozanne.

It has been claimed that initially the ash was being dumped directly onto the beach, without any method of containment from being leeched into the seawater with potentially very serious pollution effects in that area.

The denial of pumping being carried out and source of the e-coli came from the department that claimed for over 20 years that the Bellozanne incinerator was not polluting the atmosphere.

Evidently, despite their own consultants saying that it should have been shut down in the early 1990s, as it was discharging pollution well in excess of both UK and EU maximum standards. It may even have been the worst plant in Europe.

As the public have paid for the seawater tests of their beaches, surely they deserve to know which eight failed and which ones are safer and exactly how it has affected our use of the sea and where not to fish?

This must be sorted out as quickly as possible, before the news gets far worse.

Cleveland House,

Cleveland Road.

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