A CAMPAIGN to clean up Langstone Harbour is being backed by Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt.
Ms Mordaunt, who is also minister for coastal communities, said she wants to meet with officials from Southern Water about ongoing problems at Fort Cumberland sewage treatment works at Eastney.
It comes after she met with members of Eastney Cruising Association, a boating club, which is campaigning for a cleaner harbour.
As reported in The News, the club advised members to avoid the sea during the late summer because of untreated sewage that was pouring into the harbour at times of heavy rain.
The problem, caused by damage to screens that are supposed to filter out large items like sanitary towels, has been going on for several years and has resulted in fines for the water company.
A £10m upgrade of Fort Cumberland is currently under way and Southern Water has said the screens and pumps will be fixed by the end of the year.
Ms Mordaunt told The News she had received a response from the water company about the scheduling of the work, but said more can be done.
She said that notifying the public when there are sewage discharges would be beneficial.
Currently the water company informs the Langstone Harbour Board when there is a discharge, but no signs are put up on the shoreline.
After the meeting with Ms Mordaunt, Bob Evans, sailing secretary at the Eastney club, said: ‘We showed her the photographs and she did not know it was that bad.’
He added: ‘We need a definitive date of when the work will be finished.
‘They have said the end of the year.
‘We want Southern Water to stop what they are doing.
‘If we were inland, they could not do this.’
A spokeswoman for the Worthing-based firm said they were not able at this stage to give an exact date of finishing the work.
But she said the new screens and pumps were on track to be completed by the end of the year.
This work will stop larger sewage items entering the sea.
The last phase of the upgrade will involve improving the way water flows through the tanks and will reduce the amount of wastewater that has to be filtered. This should be completed in the spring.
Both schemes will ensure any discharges at times of heavy rain will be filtered before entering the sea.