Southern Water has announced its commitment to Budds Farm Wastewater Treatment Works - with it due to see a 50 per cent increase of capacity.
The investment is part of Southern Water’s aim to cut pollution incidents by 80 per cent over the next four years.
The move follows the government’s new Environment Act - placing a new legal duty on water companies to reduce storm discharges.
Budds Farm serves nearly 410,000 people living in and around Havant and the wider area and treats almost 109 million litres of wastewater per day.
Havant MP Alan Mak has been campaigning for the improvements for several years to reduce the frequency and duration of stormwater releases in Langstone Harbour.
These happen during times of heavy rainfall when the water companies release stormwater to protect homes from being flooded.
Mr Mak visited the wastewater treatment facility in Havant to hear about the planned upgrades and meet Southern Water chief executive Ian McAulay.
Mr McAulay said: ‘We welcome Alan Mak MP’s visit to Budds Farm wastewater treatment works to show him the progress we’re making to improve our wastewater treatment infrastructure.
‘The south-east of England has a rapidly growing population, and we must ensure we can serve our customers by investing to ensure our assets are fit for future needs.
‘Along with an £18m investment in physical infrastructure we are also laser-focused on network digitization to help us monitor in real-time network interruptions.’
Mr Mak said: ‘I’ve been campaigning for Southern Water to reduce unacceptable stormwater discharges into our harbours so I welcome this new investment that will make a tangible difference.
‘It follows the government’s Environment Bill that I supported, which for the first time places a direct legal duty on water companies to reduce stormwater discharges. There is still much more to do to ensure that stormwater releases are eliminated, and I’ll continue my campaigning to protect our harbours.’
In its role as a sludge treatment facility (STF) Budds Farm will also be investing in expanding its capacity to store and treat sewage sludge. This is part of Southern Water’s long-term strategic plan to prepare for future population growth and start to build in future capacity.
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The sewage sludge treated at this site is crucial for local agriculture while this expansion will also result in build ups from smaller treatment sites becoming less likely.