Southern Water blames gulls for polluting sea


One of England's worst-rated water companies has suggested gulls may be behind a decline in water quality at a Hampshire beach.

Southern Water has implied that bird droppings may be reason for increased pollution at Southsea East near Portsmouth. The firm is working with the authority and the Environment Agency and has suggested the issue could be caused by gulls gathering under the pier or possibly by leaks from small pipes as there is no sewage outfall in the area.

Roosting gulls have been suggested by Southern Water as a reason behind poor water quality at Southsea East (Daniel Bell).

A spokesman for Southern Water said: "Seagulls are roosting under the pier which can be a problem. We have to speciate the E.coli; by looking at the samples we can find out the type of animal source it comes from."

Steve Pitt, leader of the council, said that if the water at Southsea East was rated by the Environment Agency as poor later this summer it would be forced to advise people not to go into the sea on that stretch of beach from next May.

Southern Water was given a two-star rating by the Environment Agency in 2022.