Reading reports over the weekend about Southern Water's disastrous release of untreated sewage, it proved difficult to establish the scale of the environmental catastrophe, watching tonight's news, it seems nobody is any wiser as too how long local beaches will be closed.
As you might expect Thanet Council has reacted with minimal information, visitors have been in many cases unaware, such is the lack of signage . Still this incident is not of their making so perhaps the discreet notices highlighted on the local evening news are as much we can expect.
Southern Water's response however is truly lamentable, fishing around for info, I came across this on Sunday, still available today Wednesday.
As you see the big news for Southern Water is this "Essential work to repair to approx 1.2Km of ageing sewer pipes in Bramber and Upper Beeding" something that, in any other well run organisation, might well fall under the classification of normal maintenance.
I wonder why Southern Water appear so ignorant of the incident itself, and also unable or unwilling to add to our knowledge by giving us details of the damage done by the humongous splodge of untreated sewage, presumably now washing up on our beaches.
Still delving deep into the Southern Water website, I eventually trawled up this rather innocuous and if I may say rather useless statement.
Margate beaches, June 2
Margate update - June, 2012
Southern Water continues to work with Thanet District Council to clean up beaches in the Margate area, following problems at Margate pumping station during heavy rain.
The council, as beach manager, decided to close the beach to bathers while the clean-up operation continues.
We're sorry for this incident and apologise to all those affected.
Our work to clean-up the stretch of beach continues and teams have been working 24/7 to resolve the issues at the pumping station.
We'd like to assure customers this is a priority for us.
Such a priority that no useful information is available on the companies website.
Maybe a more useful, statement would answer, these questions, how bad is the environmental damage? an estimate of the damage to the local economy? what if anything do they intend, to do, to stop a recurrence? who within Southern Water do local traders need to apply to for compensation of loss of earnings? or given the lack of information from both Southern Water and Thanet District Council what could be done to improve warnings, to visitors to the beach current dangerous contamination.
The days when bland meaningless press releases were good enough, have long gone, Southern Water are a monopoly supplier of water services, we have no choice in how much we pay for water services, so come on let's see some meaningful information and advice, I'm sure you have the money to pay for something better.