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Hunstanton businessman's fears over environmental impact of waste water

Fears that waste water being pumped into the sea at Hunstanton could lead to an environmental catastrophe have been expressed by one of the town’s businessmen.

Paul Beal, who is also a borough councillor for Hunstanton, is concerned about how promenade traders, selling traditional seaside treats including ice cream, are forced to get rid of their water and commercial rubbish.

He claim that officials are turning a blind eye and says that if the issue is resolved, maybe Hunstanton could get its safe bathing Blue Flag back.

Down the drain: ice cream waste water is washed away (40852221)
Down the drain: ice cream waste water is washed away (40852221)

Mr Beal said: “All of the drains on the promenade go straight to the sea and this is where every trader is disposing of their waste water.

“Every ice cream machine has to be cleaned out and sterilised at least once a week and this takes at least 15 gallons including steriliser. Multiply that by eight stalls which amounts to 120 gallons of sterilised and waste water.”

He added: “Is this why we haven’t attained the Blue Flag for years.”

Mr Beal suggests the problem could be remedied by each stall having a water bowser capable of holding enough to have it emptied by the council each week.

And if they each had a trade waste bin that could be emptied as and when the rubbish collection lorry if emptying bins on the prom every day.

“Every commercial trader in the town has to pay commercial water and trade waste disposal rates so why, because you rent a stall from the borough council, should that be different?”

“I cannot put all the blame on to the traders as, if the council doesn’t take charge, why should they, even though that is not the perfect attitude.”

A borough council spokesman said: “We have recently undertaken an audit of the tenants’ waste disposal methods – some have waste disposal contracts with the borough council, others have private arrangements.

“We do not have the power, as landlord, to force operators to enter into contracts with us for waste removal.

“During the meeting on 21 January (when Cllr Beal raised the matter) a representative from the Environment Agency explained that if there was evidence of waste water being disposed onto the beach then this could be investigated and the prosecution powers available to the Environment Agency.

“A representative from Anglian Water also explained that there was no direct evidence of poor bathing water quality as a result of the issues raised by Cllr Beal”.

“We do not want to see disposal of waste water down the surface drains on the promenade by anyone.If anyone has evidence of individuals disposing of waste water down these drains we would encourage this to be reported so we can deal with it appropriately.”

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