PLANS to reduce the risk of Portsmouth flooding were unveiled yesterday.
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, Lord Mayor Paula Riches, and city councillors heard how Southern Water is seeking permission to build a second pumping station to serve the city.
Currently the only station is in Eastney, with a smaller back-up in case of bad storms or flooding.
But if they fail, thousands of homes below water level in the city could be flooded.
At the briefing at Gunwharf Quays, plans were also revealed to tackle problem surface water in places such as the naval base, and in flood-prone places like Southsea and Stamshaw.
A lifelike 3D painting created by artists (pictured) was part of the presentation.
As reported in The News this week, the firm intends to put in second pipes to handle rainwater to avoid clogging up existing sewers. There are also proposals to stop sea water entering the sewer system at Spice Island.
Paul Kent, from Southern Water, said: ‘We want to put a second pumping station at Burgoyne Road but we are waiting for permission and funding from Ofwat. We’ve involved Defra and the Environment Agency in the talks, which are progressing, though slowly.’
The plans were revealed as the water company launched a campaign called Keep Drains Fat Free to encourage residents and restaurant owners to stop pouring grease and fat down their sinks. The firm says sewers blocked with grease and oil deposits account for around three-quarters of all blockages every year.
Les Bond, Southern Water’s director of capital delivery and commercial, said: ‘Seventy-five per cent of sewer blockages are caused from fat and grease deposits, and it costs around £15m a year to deal with the initial blockage, not counting the cost of the follow-up repairs.
‘It’s really important that we help educate customers, in the consequences of fat and grease being put down sinks and drains. For some people it would mean not being able to flush their toilets or drain their baths, but in the worst cases it’s internal flooding and all the trauma that causes.’