THE leader of Portsmouth City Council is demanding Southern Water take urgent action to improve the city’s strained drainage network in light of recent floods.
Pictures reveal roads in Milton were submerged following a bout of heavy rain this week.
Tory councillor Donna Jones says it was due to sewers being at capacity – and she has written to the water company requesting it does something immediately to improve its systems before the situation gets worse.
Residents, meanwhile, are concerned flooding will get worse as more housing sites crop up.
In her letter to Southern Water chief executive Matthew Wright, Cllr Jones wrote: ‘A number of issues across Portsmouth, including Milebush Road and Longfield Court in Milton, have been brought to my attention.
‘Colas (our PFI contractor) has confirmed that the area of concern at Milton had no gulley blockages at the time of this flooding.
With the proposed building on the St James’ Hospital site, the situation is only going to get worse.Milton resident Lorna Wood
‘I am led to believe that these isolated problems were as a result of Southern Water capacity issues and would be grateful if you could explain why this happened.
‘As our city continues to regenerate and redevelop land, it is essential that our teams work even more closely (especially drainage officers) to help eliminate these problems.’
Lorna Wood, of Longfield Close, Milton, said: ‘I live at the top end of the close, and the water was coming up to our driveway.
‘I felt terrible for those who lived at the entrance of the road as their garages must have been underwater.
‘In all the years I have lived here, I have never seen it this bad. With the proposed building on the St James’ Hospital site, the situation is only going to get worse.’
It comes after Eastney Cruising Association cancelled this year’s annual swim from Eastney to Hayling Island amid worries about sewage.
Southern Water put out a discharge notification about a release of screened wastewater from its treatment plant at Budds Farm in Havant – which the firm says was a ‘false alarm’.
A Southern Water statement said: ‘We have arranged to meet Cllr Jones to discuss the need for combined sewer outfalls during heavy rainfall, but also how the millions of pounds we have invested will help reduce our need to use them.’