Residents’ demand action over sewage spill which flowed near to homes

AS the clean up from the Hayling Island sewage spill continues residents have demanded action from Southern Water and the council.

The Save Our Island group has formally written to the council to raise serious concerns over both the incident and subsequent response.

Dave Parham - Spokesperson for Save Our Island - wants answers about the sewage spill

Dave Parham - Spokesperson for Save Our Island - wants answers about the sewage spill

Read more: Residents’ anger as ‘worst ever’ sewage flows into drainage ditch around homes

The letter stated: ‘Southern Water must meet with us to explain this catastrophic failure and advise the actions being taken to decontaminate the land and also of the engineering solution to prevent exposing our residents to this dangerous health risk ever again.’

Spokesman Dave Parham, who also sits on the residents’ infrastructure advisory committee, attended a meeting in October 2017 in which Southern Water assured residents that major upgrades had been made to the Stoke wastewater pumping station and that the sewage network could handle any proposed housing growth.

Mr Parham said: ‘Clearly the engineering solution implemented is not fit for purpose and has threatened the health of our island’s residents.’ The group also feel the council needs to accept its share of the blame.

Sewage Effluent in drainage ditch surrounding Stoke village

Sewage Effluent in drainage ditch surrounding Stoke village

‘Ultimately it is the council’s responsibility. They are culpable in accepting what Southern Water told them,’ added Mr Parham.

Mr Parham claims the council are allowing more than 100 houses to be built every year which is putting unsustainable pressure on the current wastewater infra-structure.  

In response to the incident Southern Water said: ‘The Portsmouth area has had more investment in its sewage system than anywhere else in our region. The issue here is not to do with capacity, it was a spill as a result of a blockage.’ 

Mr Parham, however, said the system is not for for purpose and believes duel pumping stations are required rather than the current one.

Sewage effluent which has flooded onto surrounding fields

Sewage effluent which has flooded onto surrounding fields

The group are also concerned about the environmental implications.

‘There is no evidence of the discharge having been monitored. I would ask Langstone Harbour Board to investigate this unauthorised discharge and publish their findings,’ stressed Mr Parham. A Southern Water spokesperson said: ‘Investigations with the Environment Agency are underway to determine the exact impact.’