Southern Water sewage monitoring scheme is labelled 'feeble' as only one device is in the sea

A resident has labelled a water monitoring scheme a ‘feeble gesture’ after months of stormwater discharges polluting Langstone Harbour.

By Toby Paine
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 4:45 pm

Havant Borough Council and Southern Water have been criticised for running a water monitoring scheme that has been described as underwhelming.

The pilot scheme is the first one launched in the UK, taking regular samples from a monitor attached to a buoy around 400m offshore to the west of Beachlands, Hayling Island.

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Southern Water's Budds Farm outfall photographed pouring out untreated sewage at 3.42pm on October 21 2021. Picture: Chris Pearsall Commercial Photography

Peter Oliver, who lives on Langstone High Street said: ‘The council deserves congratulations on installing this pollution monitoring real-time device - however, this achievement needs putting in context.

‘Havant Borough Council needs to prevent these discharges as they undermine the public's enjoyment of the area as well as the Hayling Island Regeneration Initiative.

‘It would need a large number of these devices throughout the two harbours to give timely advice to the many users of both harbours - paddle boarders, swimmers and dinghy sailors who often find themselves in the seawater or the sewage.

Pollution is a countrywide issue and Havant could create a new relationship model with their service providers.

‘In the meantime, could HBC undertake to fly a brown flag on our blue flag beaches whenever the water quality fails to meet the standard?

‘It’s rather a feeble gesture on part of HBC and for them to be beating their chest on how wonderful they are seems ridiculous to me.’

Last October Southern Water reportedly dumped thousands of gallons of sewage into the harbour - earlier in 2021 the company was fined £90m for dumping billions of litres of raw sewage into the sea.

Dr Nick Mills, head of the storm overflow task force at Southern Water, said: ‘We’re fully committed to playing our role in protecting these environments and we’re excited to be rolling out this innovative pilot which will give residents and harbour users transparency on the conditions of the bathing waters they use.

‘Partnerships with industry and local stakeholders are absolutely crucial to water quality and we’re delighted to be working with Havant Borough Council on this trial.

‘This collaboration will provide us and other water companies with a blueprint for future schemes that will bring environmental benefits to the wider region and across the UK.’