A SEA swimmer has called for more to be done to prevent day-trippers from bathing in sewage discharged into the sea at Walton.

Rodney Larner, 78, Naze Park Road, enjoys swimming in the sea at Walton every day.

Despite a warning sign at the beach, he fears other beachgoers are putting themselves at risk when dirty water is discharged into the sea.

Mr Larner said sewage was discharged on Saturday afternoon following heavy rain, but that daytrippers were swimming in the water close to the spot the following day.

He added: “Surface water runs into a hold pool near the Columbine Centre, but when that can’t cope it is discharged into the sea at East Terrace.

“It’s badly discoloured water that is almost black. It’s sewage mixed in with run off water from roads.

“It looks like an oil slick on the water and smells terrible.”

The outlet pipe discharges sewage 50 metres offshore, but Mr Larner said it is then swept along the beach.

“We had a heavy rain storm on Saturday at 3pm and there was water discharged via the outflow pipe in East Terrace,” he added.

“The polluted water is swept along and discharged all over the beaches.

He added: “The following day was a lovely, sunny day and there were hundreds of people here, including a large number of children, day-trippers and people from caravan sites, on the beaches and in the water.

“People should not be going into the water for 48 hours after a discharge.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said the incident is being investigated, although warning signs were in place.

“We are aware of reports of a sewage discharge on the beach at Walton following a period of heavy rainfall on Saturday,” he said.

“As a result of the rainfall we issued a pollution risk forecast warning for potential poor water quality at Walton beach.

“The warning was also published on the Bathing Water Explorer website.

“We are currently investigating the reports of sewage on the beach and in the sea with our partners.”

A spokesman for Tendring Council said the authority received an automated alert at 8.45am on Sunday and an officer put a warning sign up before 10am, as required.

The Environment Agency posts bathing advice online at environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles.

Mr Larner added: “The only sign I have ever seen is by the beach wardens hut by the pier, but the beach extends for more than a mile right up to Hipkins Beach.

“People don’t tend to read a sign at the other end of the beach - there really needs to be a red flag.”