‘Serious concerns’ raised amid plans to discharge recycled sewage into the future Havant Thicket reservoir

‘SERIOUS concerns’ have been raised amid proposals to discharge recycled sewage into the future Havant Thicket reservoir.

By Toby Paine
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 4:38 pm
What Havant Thicket Reservoir could look like
What Havant Thicket Reservoir could look like

Water resources south east (WRSE), made up of six water companies, has launched a consultation for their regional plan, which includes building a water recycling plant to supplement the reservoir’s natural water supply with ‘highly treated’ wastewater, derived from sewage.

The original planning application for the reservoir states it should be filled with surplus water from the Bedhampton Spring.

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Cllr Alex Rennie

In a letter sent to WRSE, Councillor Alex Rennie, leader of Havant Borough Council said: ‘The new reservoir will be a fantastic resource and reduce the water strain on the south east. We welcome and still support this project.

‘Havant Borough Council has serious concerns about why Southern Water did not make clear its wish to use water recycling during the planning process that concluded last year.

‘For residents in this corough, they are already wary of Southern Water due to the reputational impact of the record £90m fine that it received for 6,971 unpermitted sewage discharges.

‘We would ask that further work is established to set out in more detail why water recycling is needed for the Havant Thicket Reservoir, as opposed to natural sources for filling the reservoir, as envisioned previously.’

A spokesperson for Portsmouth Water said: ‘The south east is under serious water stress and we are working with Southern Water to explore new ways of supplying the region with sustainable sources of water and taking further steps to protect our environment, in particular rare chalk streams.

‘We would like to reassure Portsmouth Water customers that any additional plans for Havant Thicket Reservoir would be subject to the required rigorous statutory engagement and planning processes.

A Southern Water spokesman added: 'The current collaboration around possible enhanced uses of the planned Havant Thicket Reservoir is a continuation of that partnership, seeking to bring greater resilience for the environment and increasingly secure water supplies for customers.

'The prospective plans to enhance the use of the reservoir are separate to the already approved plans for the reservoir. They are subject to further engagement, consultation and will require full planning applications in their own right.

'Water recycling speeds up the natural water cycle to provide a sustainable source of clean, safe water that reduces the amount needed to be taken from the environment.'

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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