PROTESTERS took to the streets to demonstrate against ongoing problems with a Southern Water pumping station.
Around 40 people gathered outside the firm’s pumping station on Henderson Road, Eastney, yesterday sheltering from the rain under umbrellas, and carrying placards reading ‘Southern Water Stinks’.
Demonstration organiser John Stevenson, of Henderson Park, said: ‘It was a great turn-out. I had hoped for up to 50 if the weather was good, but under the circumstances this just shows how strong the feeling is here. The way Southern water has treated us is not acceptable.’
The protesters, from Henderson Road and the surrounding area, believe Southern Water’s pumping station causes too much noise, and foul smells.
They say the firm has not dealt with the problems.
Many are in dispute with the company because they believe they should be compensated for damage done to their homes when a second, underground, pumping station was built at Bransbury Park, Eastney, between 2008 and 2010.
Mr Stevenson said: ‘We have spoken to Southern Water about the noise and the smells, but nothing has changed.
‘We haven’t heard from them about this demonstration, but if they don’t deal with the issues, we’ll be back next week, and the week after, until they do. We won’t put up with it any more.’
Taff Jones, of Henderson Park, was at the demonstration.
He said: ‘The noise is terrible. It goes on 24 hours. It doesn’t keep you awake, but it’s a continuous thing, and it’s because the pumps need recalibrating, but it hasn’t been done.
‘The smell is awful, too. They have built a state-of-the-art facility, which is airtight and lets no odours out, but then they open the doors when the weather’s warm.
‘They told us they would change that, but nothing’s been done.’
A Southern Water spokeswoman Leilah Nicola said: ‘A number of improvements have already been made to reduce noise and odour and more work is scheduled to take place in the coming months.
‘This includes the installation of an odour suppressant system, refurbishment of three final effluent pumps, which will reduce noise and smell, and replacement of the low level pumps to reduce noise and vibrations further
‘There will also be a ‘closed door policy’ at the pumping station to contain odours, daily readings from the odour plant logged and available to Portsmouth City Council environmental health officers, and detailed design of noise reduction measures.’
Southern Water wastewater manager Stewart Garrett said: ‘We’re investing heavily in Portsmouth in the next five years.
‘This includes making improvements to Eastney pumping station to ensure it’s working as effectively as possible, while easing the impact on nearby residents.’