There are no Blue Flag beaches in Asia and the annual reports of the Environmental Protection Department of the Hong Kong SAR Government (www.epd.gov.hk/epd/eindex.html) identify the measures it is taking to improve beach water quality. Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with most (80%) rain falling in the hot, wet, summers – an annual average of ∼220 cm. Although, during the summer months, typhoons have been known to dump that much rainfall and more in just a single day. Such rains cause problems with the drains, which overflow, and predictably, water quality standards fall – just at the time when people there, as here, are heading for PI3K inhibitor the beaches. At such times
in Hong Kong, as here too, beach water quality monitoring is halted – understandably. Great Britain’s 2012 summer weather has been similar to that typical of Hong Kong in that up to 27 June, total UK rainfall was >130 mm with the Meteorological Office confirming it had been the wettest April-June period in the United Kingdom in 100 years and the second wettest year since 1912. This was brought home to my town of Littlehampton on the night of 11 June when, because of torrential rain, the local Littlehampton Gazette
recorded that the basement apartments of 26 Victorian properties along South Terrace were flooded by storm water and raw sewage. Sewage? How could this be? The answer Ibrutinib cell line lies in the old sewerage system. About PRKACG eight years ago before he was sacked, the River Arun’s harbour master offered the occasional guided tour of his ‘patch’ and, in response to a question about the river sometimes smelling
of sewage, casually informed his group, including me, that sometimes, when the £53 million wastewater treatment scheme was overloaded, the excess was allowed to flow out along the old east–west Victorian sewerage pipe to be discharged into the River Arun exactly where it all used to be. On the night of the 11 June, this old sewer, now serving as a storm-water drain and, it transpires, an emergency sewer, failed – spectacularly. And, where did the emergency services pump this contaminated water from the basement apartments? Why into the Arun of course! In fact, moreover, Southern Water has a long history of ‘accidental’ discharges of raw sewage, one of the latest locally resulted in it being fined £5,000 on 11 June 2012 for allowing raw sewage to be discharged into a small tributary of the River Arun on 3 September 2009. As a postscript to the 5 July Sunday Times article discussed above, the author pointed out that ‘Water companies have allocated £1 billion in 2010–2015 to improve sewage overflows’ – such as has occurred in Littlehampton and the River Arun but at many other places too in England and Wales this summer. This equates to £250 million annually for the entire country.