2,338 hours of untreated diluted sewage discharged into sea of Folkestone & Hythe District in 2020.

Southern Water owned offshore in the tax haven of Jersey, discharged untreated diluted sewage into the sea of the Folkestone & Hythe District coastline for two thousand three hundred and thirty eight (2,388) hours in 2020. This is equivalent of untreated diluted sewage being poured into the sea of our coastline, once every four days.  These discharges stemmed from 235 incidents at ten Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) or pumping stations dotted around the district.

New Romney WWTW

Queens Rd New Romney Water Pumping Station (WPS)

Sellindge WWTW

Lydd Rd Camber WPS

Alexander Rd Hythe Combined Sewer Overflow

Range Rd Hythe WPS

Tates Copse Hythe WPS

West Hythe WWTW

Southern Way Folkestone WPS

The  Southern Way, Folkestone Junction Water Pumping Station delivers approximately 45 -50 million litres of wastewater every day from the surrounding catchment area. In 2020 it had eighteen discharges lasting 108 hours. this means approx 200,625,000 litres of untreated diluted sewage flowed into the sea over 108 hours.

Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and storm overflows (SOs) are designed to discharge untreated, diluted sewage directly into rivers and watercourses in event of extreme rainfall to prevent the flooding of homes and businesses.

Any overflow which spills more than 60 times per year should be investigated by the Environment Agency, or 40 times if monitoring has been in place for several years. In our district only the West Hythe WWTW spilt more than 60 hours. It spilt for 1,614 hours, but it appears it has not been investigated by the Environment Agency.

CSOs and SOs are the canary in the mine for waste water management, and it is clear from these figures, for our district, the sewage network is not fit for purpose.

On June 16th 2021,  flash floods in Hythe caused flooding for businesses and households on Hythe High Street. With increasingly volatile weather patterns due to climate change becoming the norm, this is affecting the towns and villages in our district on a more frequent basis. This problem will only get worse and our current infrastructure is not be able to cope with demand. Yet for some inexplicable reason Southern Water fails to object to planning applications even though they are aware the waste water sewer infrastructure in the district is not fit for purpose.

Increased investment by Southern Water in waste water management is absolutely imperative. They need to urgently explore and in invest in upstream nature-based solutions to fix our broken system. Alongside that, every resident of the district can contribute to the solution by only flushing pee, poo and paper – not putting wet wipes and other materials down the loo or pouring oil down the kitchen drain.

As announced just yesterday, Southern Water announced the Australian investment bank Macquarie had bought a majority stake in Southern Water for more than £1bn. However, we should welcome this news cautiously as Macquaire in their last foray into the water industry in the UK left Thames Water with an extra £2bn debt burden.

The International Panel on Climate Change made it clear in their report released on Monday that the temperature in the UK had risen by 0.95 degrees, which has led to a 6% increase in annual rainfall, meaning extreme rainfall events will only increase. This will lead to more CSOs and SO discharging untreated, diluted sewage directly into the sea of our coastline and elsewhere.

Even with Macquaire’s promised investment into the sewage infrastructure it is too little to prevent further untreated diluted sewage into the sea along our coastline as Climate Change accelerates.

Building more homes across our beautiful district with infrastructure already unable to cope means these types of spillages are set to get worse, before they get better.

The Shepway Vox Team

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About shepwayvox (1387 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

5 Comments on 2,338 hours of untreated diluted sewage discharged into sea of Folkestone & Hythe District in 2020.

  1. The Shepway Green Party as the party who wants to save the environment locally have said nothing about this. It really does show them as a one issue party, that being Save Princes Parade. Nothing wrong with that, but they could really pretend to at least care about the rest of the environment in our district.

    Love the video

  2. Once again another great blog. Thanks for all your efforts for keeping us so well informed.

    The comment above by A F sums it up. Come May 2023 I won’t be voting for the Greens again.

    Once bitten…

  3. Even in the wake of the £90 million fine iin early July, Southern Water own maps show a continued flow of raw filth into coastal waters. Same shit, different day. The only occasions on which water companies are allowed by law to release raw sewage are when “exceptional rainfall” overwhelms their treatment works. But the crap keeps coming, rain or no rain.

    Keep up the good work

  4. I do not believe that an Australian based venture capital outfit have a vesper of concern for Southern England’s environment or the people that live here only the great God PROFIT. And based on their previous track record with Thames Water we can only expect our bills to start rising any time soon.

    Come back Public Ownership all is forgiven. What twisted Tory logic believes that it is right to make profits from the life sustaining public water supply and waste water treatment

  5. Thanks for alerting us to this vital issue. One look at Southern Water’s wikipedia page reveals systematic law breaking since 2007, virtually on a weekly basis! I cannot believe this bunch of criminals is still operating. The gains of their illegal activities simply outweigh the paltry fines. Take a look at their wiki page: your jaw will hit the floor.

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