The amount of raw sewage pumped out into the sea has been revealed.
A total of 2.9million litres is released in Peel bay by Manx Utilities every single day. In Laxey, the figure is between 1.5m and four million litres.
To put that in context, an Olympic-sized swimming pool has a capacity of 2.5million litres.
But the amount pumped out is made up of waste not only from toilets but from dishwashers, washing machines and groundwater.
The figures have come to light in a Freedom of Information request made to the Manx Utilities Authority.
In the past couple of years, the authority has been thwarted in its attempts to build sewage treatment plants in Laxey and near Peel after it lost planning applications.
The information request was made by advocate Ian Kermode.
He said: ’Such shockingly high levels of preventable human pollution obviously raises serious ecological and human health concerns.
’We have also recently been notified by persons expressing concern about pet dogs becoming sick with an apparent mysterious illness after walking on Peel beach during January 2022.’
Mr Kermode said that civil legal action was being ’actively considered’ by a number of potential litigants against Manx Utilities and the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture, including under the Water Pollution Act 1993 and for negligence and breach of international environmental obligations.
He referred to an English civil court case last year in which Southern Water was fined £90m for dumping raw sewage into the sea.
’The relentless and disgusting daily discharge into Peel and Laxey bays of vast amounts of raw sewage containing excrement, significant human viruses (including Covid-19), dangerous household chemicals and traces of medicine is anachronistic and poses a completely unacceptable risk of harm and infection to bathers, particularly children,’ Mr Kermode added.
He suggested that the government was turning a blind eye to contamination of shellfish and damage to Irish Sea biodiversity.
’The Manx government’s shameful complacency on this important public health and environmental issue on this important public health and environmental issue is plainly at odds with the island’s Unesco Biosphere status and is nothing short of a national disgrace.’
A spokesman for Manx Utilities said: ’Manx Utilities is fully committed to finding a solution which puts an end to the discharge of untreated sewage to sea in the two remaining areas of Garff and Peel where this still happens.
’The flow information provided was an estimate of the total amount of liquid that discharges through Manx Utilities’ outfalls.
’This liquid is not solely "human sewage", but it is a mixture of sewage and groundwater (90% during winter).
’Using industry standard figures it is estimated that the actual sewage discharged each day in Laxey is 353,000 litres and for Peel it’s 975,000 litres.
’Manx Utilities is required to adhere to discharge licences as issued by the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture which permit the discharge of raw sewage at these locations.’