One might think that a company which has been fined large amounts of money would want to hurry up with the restorative measures that would prevent a similar incident to the one that cost them the money in the first place.
But Southern Water has been unable to give a date when it will finish the project that will prevent larger items of sewage from entering Langstone Harbour.
The water company will only say it is ‘on track’ to finish by the end of the year.
It is easy to understand why people are so angry about this – at the moment Southern Water does no more than tell the Langstone Harbour Board when there is going to be a discharge.
Only earlier this summer we reported how a black slick of sewage was pouring out into the sea, prompting Eastney Cruising Association to advise members to avoid the area.
MP Penny Mordaunt, the minister for coastal communities, is quite right when she says more could be done – particularly in notifying the public.
When these discharges prevent the public from being able to enjoy the harbour, something is a long way from right.
But this isn’t a problem that has only just come up – it has been going on for years.
Maybe fining Southern Water £150,000 for polluting Langstone Harbour – as they were three years ago – wasn’t a great enough incentive for them to hurry up with the scheme that will prevent people from having to share it with used sanitary towels, syringes and goodness knows what else.
As reported in The News back at the start of the year – 160 hours’ worth of untreated sewage poured into the harbour from the Fort Cumberland treatment works in a single month.
This is entirely unacceptable and has been allowed to go on for far too long.
It will definitely be interesting to hear what comes out of Ms Mordaunt’s meeting with Southern Water.
The firm is spending £10m on its upgrade at Fort Cumberland. We only hope that the money is well spent.