The Hot Pipe

There is a power station on the South Coast in Shoreham. It is in the middle of the harbour, with a famous chimney standing proud on the horizon all around. This power station has its cooling water flowing straight out into the sea.

It’s known as The Hot Pipe to the locals, mainly as a surf spot, because of the way the waves break over the groyne: it’s a little like a point break. At certain times, a huge amount of clean, but hot, water flows out into the sea. Consequently there is an abundance of algae bloom and wildlife around, as the water can reach temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius in winter when the average temperature can be closer to 6.
It was estimated in the Brighton Argus that the annual power wasted, with the hot water is over 300,000 kW and this should instead be used to heat local homes.
It’s just one example of the perils of not investing in or protecting our future – going for the cheapest option at the time. But meanwhile, we leave the water to the surfers. I know a few people who go down there who wouldn’t be too happy if the design of the breakwater was changed, so let’s just enjoy the strange phenomenon while we can!

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