Welcome to Beachbuoy
Beachbuoy is our online release notification system. It provides automatic updates about the operation of our Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) that can affect water quality at designated bathing waters and recreational harbours. CSOs are used to release screened wastewater into the environment – usually during storms – to prevent homes and communities from flooding.
Beachbuoy was first launched for the 2018 bathing season. Since then, we’ve used feedback from users to make some significant improvements. We launched the second version in September 2020.
The biggest update is that Beachbuoy is now linked to our regulatory release reporting system, Aspire. This means users can now see a more timely and accurate status of our CSOs at their chosen bathing water or harbour.
We’ve also redesigned Beachbuoy to use simple colour indicators:
- Blue is the default colour for all icons – this indicates that there has been no CSO activity within 72 hours
- Yellow indicates that a release via a CSO has occurred or may have occurred within 72 hours
Though Beachbuoy is still under trial, we hope these changes have improved the service – and we’ll continue to listen and take on board feedback from users as the trial goes on.
How to use Beachbuoy
- Find your chosen bathing water or recreational harbour on the map – each one is shown by a single swimmer icon.
- Check what colour the icon is:
- Blue means no CSO activity has happened within 72 hours.
- Yellow indicates a release or suspected release may be affecting the bathing water – the icon will stay yellow for up to 72 hours in line with Environment Agency recommendations.
- Click on an icon to see a seven-day review of release activity at that location.
Please note, Southern Water can’t make any recommendations about the safety for water users in the event of a release from a CSO. Beachbuoy is simply a reporting tool – users are advised to use their own discretion when entering the water. More advice and information about bathing waters can be found on the Environment Agency’s website.
Why do releases occur?
If you'd like more information about why water companies are permitted to release into the environment, please read about the role of releases in protecting homes and managing storms.