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Sewage spill leaves fatbergs on a Jersey beach

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A HAVRE des Pas business owner is calling for the government to improve its communication with shops, hotels, bars and restaurants in the area following a sewage spill earlier this week.

A so-called fatberg on the beach at Grève d'Azette between the Rice Bowl and the Dicq Shack (25521371)

Marcus Calvani, co-owner of the Be Served Group, which owns the The Lido at Havre des Pas, says he only found out about the spill, which led to the closure of the saltwater pool and caused the government to issue a safety warning, on social media.

He said he has a wedding booked at the venue on Saturday and that he had been struggling to reassure the party that the area would be safe by then.

Sewage spilled out from the Dicq pumping station near the saltwater pool early on Monday morning when a week’s worth of rain fell in a matter of hours during a storm. The pumping station is designed to spill when it is overloaded with run-off water and sewage to prevent it backing up.

So-called mini ‘fatbergs’ – solid collections of fat, grease and and other non-biodegradable products, such as nappies and wet wipes – that end up in the sewage system have been spotted on the beach.

Dog-walkers have urged others to keep their pets away from the slimy bundles as they may contain elements, such as palm oil, that can be harmful or even fatal.

Mr Calvani said business had been 90% down this week compared to expected takings for this time of year. He thinks the change is largely fuelled by the sewage incident, although wet weather and cooler temperatures have been present this week.

‘It’s the lack of communication which is very frustrating,’ he added.

‘We have had to cancel an event this week, a JT pool party, because media coverage about poo floating around the pool is not great. We have not been told by the government how it happened or what we should be telling our customers.

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‘We have a wedding on Saturday and the bride is in a bit of a panic and we are trying to act as if everything is fine. We have had to cancel the dip and paddle session for guests. Even though it will probably be fine by then, they are not keen to do it anymore. If we could give them more information or knew when there was going to be more testing and results we could pass that on.’

The pool was drained yesterday and is due to be refilled on the next high tide.

Mr Calvani said that he would like to see the outflow pipe extended further out to sea.

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
author

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