Work to fix sewage plant at Eastney is finally completed

Local authorities have been stepping up the bid to prevent the illegal dumping of waste

LETTER OF THE DAY: The fly-tipping blight

  • Southern Water finishes £10m work at Fort Cumberland in Portsmouth
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A CLEANER harbour could be on the horizon as work has finally finished on upgrading a sewage station.

Campaigners have waited for five years for a fix to the ongoing sewage problem that has affected Langstone Harbour.

Southern Water has now announced that the £10m investment scheme to improve Fort Cumberland, in Eastney, has been completed.

The video above shows Richard Hodgson, senior project manager for Southern Water at Fort Cumberland, talking last year about the refurbishment to equipment

Ageing storm tanks that are supposed to filter the city’s sewage were damaged in a massive storm in 2010.

Ever since, periods of heavy rain have been followed by discharges of unscreened sewage – resulting in unsightly sanitary items being found on the shoreline.

Fort Cumberland Pumping Station in Eastney site manager Steve Fastnedge next to the canester pumps''Picture: Sarah Standing (143323-8220)

Fort Cumberland Pumping Station in Eastney site manager Steve Fastnedge next to the canester pumps''Picture: Sarah Standing (143323-8220)

But officials are now saying this should become a thing of the past.

Stormwater from sewers can still be legally released following heavy rain, but it should always be screened from now on.

New screens have been put in and the way sewage flows through the system has been changed to minimise the chances of any unsightly items ever getting into the sea. The pumps and electrical equipment at Eastney have also been refurbished.

Louise MacCallum, environment officer for Langstone Harbour Board, said: ‘I am really glad they have invested in improving the system.

‘I look forward to a future where the beaches remain free of sewage litter. Let’s hope it works.’

Paul Kent, Southern Water’s wastewater strategy manager, said: ‘We have already seen significant improvements from the investment at Fort Cumberland with only one release of stormwater from the site in the last five months.

‘This one release was during heavy rain and saw the site preventing wastewater backing up in the network that could have caused sewer flooding of homes and businesses.

‘This also links to the success of Portsmouth flood alleviation scheme – completed last autumn – where up to 6,400 litres per second of rainwater is diverted away from the sewer network and straight into the sea.’