A WATER company has come under fire for the frequency of times it is discharging wastewater into Langstone Harbour.
Southern Water has been criticised by Bob Evans, the sailing secretary at Eastney Cruising Association.
The company has always argued that permitted discharges from outfalls at Budds Farm, Havant, and Fort Cumberland, Eastney, are to prevent the area flooding during periods of heavy rain.
But Mr Evans was shocked when he found a discharge notification – available through the Langstone Harbour Board’s website – which showed almost eight hours of pumping into Brockhampton Creek.
The incident happened on June 30 last year after a fortnight of dry weather.
Officials at Southern Water have now confirmed the reading was wrong and it was in fact a false alert. They said the measuring equipment is not always accurate.
But Mr Evans is still not happy, particularly by the amount of discharge notifications.
Since December 15, when a new pumping station was unveiled off the Eastern Road to pump away clean rainwater directly into the sea, he said there have been 74 discharges.
‘When they are doing it so frequently, they are taking the mickey,’ he said.
Officials said similar overflows happen along the UK’s coastline during heavy rain.
A spokeswoman added: ‘The figure on the harbour board website is higher as it reports all our notifications that are issued by our telemetry regardless of their accuracy.
‘The equipment is highly sensitive and operates in a hostile environment, in wet, saline conditions. It therefore has its limitations as a real-time reporting tool.’
She said the company was looking at ways of issuing alerts and ensuring that false alerts are withdrawn as soon as possible.