September 12, 2022 5.30 pm This story is over 16 months old

Mortified mum disgusted by ‘raw sewage’ on Lincolnshire beach, Anglian Water disputes

“Pieces of faecal matter were literally sticking to my skin”

Update: Anglian Water responded to claims of sewage pollution.

A mortified Newark mum has raised alarm bells with claims of sewage and pollution after a very smelly trip to Huttoft Beach in Lincolnshire, but Anglian Water have said it was in fact just algae.

Emma Oldham posted the video of her family paddling at the weekend, in what she suspected to be sewage at the weekend – the video now has close to 400,000 views. The mum-of-four had three of her children with her at the beach and was left feeling “mortified and sick” and wanted to share her experience with as many people as possible.

Emma told The Lincolnite that she has been visiting this stretch of beach for 30 years and “never in my life seen or smelt it like this before”.

She claimed that “pieces of faecal matter were literally sticking to my skin” and accused water companies of polluting the beach after visiting the on Saturday, September 10.

Emma claimed: “This has been such a horrific experience for us. We’ve been coming to this family-friendly beach for over a decade, and seeing it turn into a sewage dumping ground is heartbreaking.

“Everyone was left with poo-stained skin and our clothes stunk awful. It’s been two days now and I still can’t get the smell out of my nails. This is a serious danger to public health, and marine life and will negatively impact local tourism. This needs to stop.”

Emma said that they showered at the campsite they were staying at on Sunday, but she has felt poorly and two of her daughters are suffering with thrush and a cold.

“We all feel nauseous. We were only in the sea for a few minutes,” Emma added. “Heaven forbid the wildlife that lives there. The sea is my favourite place and it’s been utterly polluted with faeces.”

Mum-of-two Kym Hedley-Inman, 33, who was with Emma and her family, said: “As our last holiday of the year, me and my two girls really wanted to be near the beach as we wanted to paddle and swim. My oldest daughter especially loves to swim in the sea.

“We chose to be near Huttoft as it’s a beach that we’ve loved going to for years, but I was so shocked, upset and angry to find that we couldn’t paddle or swim as the sea was so dirty and smelly!

“The beach was also dirty from where the tide had come in and then gone out again, leaving what looked to be excrement on the sand! This has deeply saddened me to see a beach so polluted, putting public health at risk!”

Also at the beach with Emma was Kirsty Nizinkiewicz, a mum of three young children, who said: “Over the weekend, I went on a final holiday of the year with some friends, all of whom have young children. So it was natural for us to want to go to the beach on our last day and enjoy jumping in the waves as so many children love to do.

“Unfortunately, the sea seemed to be full of poo, and after 5 minutes or so we had to call it a day out of fear of our children becoming ill. I have never seen sea water looking so brown and smelly and hate to think what sort of impact this is having on the wildlife local to the area.”

A spokesperson for Anglian Water said: “We have thoroughly inspected the area. The picture in the social media post is of sea algal, which is a natural phenomenon, completely unrelated to sewage.

“Please note additionally Anglian Water have no storm overflows along the sea front in this area, so this cannot be discharge of faecal matter.”

Untreated sewage discharged into the sea around the coast has seen pollution warnings at almost 50 beaches nationally – including three in Lincolnshire.

Data from water companies by the Safer Seas and Rivers Service, run by the charity Surfers Against Sewage, showed discharges have taken place following heavy rain across the country.

Beaches along the south coast are worst affected, and it comes after water service regulator Ofwat opened an investigation into storm overflow spills and sewage dumps across the country.

The regulator called for more action as part of a national inquiry into wastewater companies, including Anglian Water, which covers Greater Lincolnshire.