According to figures released yesterday there is 21 000 cubic metres of Raw Sewerage being pumped in to the sea at Hopes Nose. Now for those not completely up to date with the beloved metric system a cubic metre of water is 1000 litres and weighs 1 tonne ( which is more or less the same as 1 old ton). So 21 000 tonnes of raw sewerage, that’s 365 litres a second, is heading for our golden beaches to cover centimetres inches deep in brown sticky smelly stuff that we, and any brave holidaymakers (brave for being out in the bitingly cold wind) just don’t want to see, or walk in while strolling along the above mentioned beaches. Well not quiet. 95% of that 21 thousand tonnes of mostly water being pumped out to sea is exactly that, water. True, it’s been used for washing both ourselves, our clothes, our veggies, our dirty dishes, the kitchen floor, the windows, the car and so on. Its' known as grey water and can be recycled or used to water your garden. It isn’t what we think of when the word sewerage is mentioned. Though some of it is. About 1000 tonnes is foul water, which is not good, but does sound a bit better than imagining 21 000 tonnes of crap all over our lovely beaches.
One other point. According to my water bill I use 70 litres of water a day and almost all of that ends up going down the drain either as grey water or foul water. Twenty one thousand cubic metres of water is 21 million litres. Do a little sum, 21 million divided by 70 = three hundred thousand. Now remember it only sewerage from Torquay going out to sea. Paignton and Brixham are still connected to the sewerage works hidden away in Churston.
What all the sums mean is that given the population of Torquay was 63,998 during the 2001 UK Census and we need 300 000 people to produce 21 000 cubic metres of sewerage then we must have at least two hundred and thirty six thousand and two holiday makers in town which must be good for someone. It’s an ill wind, as they say.
Or maybe I use less water than most or I’ve got my sums in a twist. Or someone else has got the figures wrong.