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Paper 6 - 30 January 2004 Meeting
ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE
AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES
by Corporate Projects Officer
The HIOW Councils should work together to persuade Southern Water and
OFWAT to increase the focus on, and funding for, reducing sewer flooding, and
the attendant health and pollution risks;
To facilitate (1), Eastleigh should arrange a meeting for appropriate
Councillor and staff representatives of interested Councils, to share
information on sewer flooding problems, and to agree joint action to approach
Southern Water and OFWAT, and any other appropriate joint action;
HIOW makes representations to the Minister that water companies should be
formally urged to respond promptly and helpfully to local planning authority
consultation on planning applications.
Water investment programme is fixed by OFWAT.
to tackle flooding from sewers inadequately funded over at least the last
has been some increased funding, following lobbying of OFWAT.
this is not enough.
is a need for flood relief schemes to be prioritised regionally, ideally
on a cost / customer nuisance basis.
Early in 2003 Eastleigh Borough Council's Environment and Transport
Scrutiny Panel decided to investigate the flooding problems within the Borough.
A cross party sub-group was formed. The following organisations were
invited to give presentations at Eastleigh -
(an organisation which represents Water customers)
The problems being experienced in Eastleigh are that some sewers serving
residential areas, particularly in the Eastleigh town area, surcharge during
heavy rain. Gardens and homes are
flooded with raw sewage, and lavatories become unusable because the pipework
serving the properties is at over capacity.
Sewage from the Eastleigh town area is pumped directly into the
Chickenhall Waste Water Treatment Works, located beside the river Itchen.
Southern Water is licensed by the Environment Agency to discharge
partially treated effluent into the River Itchen through a storm water overflow
from its sewage treatment works.
Because of the increase in flooding incidents over recent years and those
projected in the future, Southern Water proposes to utilise this storm water
overflow provision on a more frequent basis.
This will inevitably mean more partially treated effluent flowing into
the Itchen. Only a short distance downstream, at Gaters Mill, is Portsmouth
Water's water extraction plant.
Southern Water is consulted regularly by the Council on significant
planning applications. However, the level of response from the company is not
good. From discussion at HIOW’s November 2003 meeting of the Hampshire Water
Strategy, it appears that Eastleigh’s experience is shared by at least some of
the other HIOW local planning authorities.
In November 2003, Mr David Chidgey, MP for Eastleigh, was successful in
raising an adjournment debate on the Eastleigh problems, with the Minister for
the Environment, Mr Elliot Morley.
Mr Chidgey managed to obtain assurances from the Minister that Southern
Water will install additional storm water storage capacity at the Chickenhall
Works. Southern Water also proposes
to change the storm water management arrangements at the works. However, excess storm water will still be discharged directly
into the river when the storage tanks are full.
The Minister –
hope that these would only be interim measures, adding that by the end 2005 he
expected Southern Water to provide more permanent treatment facilities.
that OFWAT had asked water companies to consider further measures to tackle
sewer flooding, and that Southern Water had agreed to spend an additional £10m
on major flood alleviation schemes in the period up to 2005.
OFWAT had also asked water companies to include a prioritised list of
projects and costs in their business plans for 2005-2010.
guidance that the Secretary of State issued to the Director General of Water
Services in January 2003 made it clear that sewerage undertakers' assets should
be maintained in a way that would deliver a high standard of serviceability to
customers and the environment. Within the priorities of water company
programmes, there needs to be an increase in the rate at which companies rectify
sewer flooding problems if they are to get on top of the situation.
That guidance has been given to the Regulator.
The Ministry wants to ensure that sewer flooding and sewer repair and
maintenance continue to be high on the agenda of both OFWAT and the companies.
In the context of concerns that water companies are not statutory
consultees on planning matters, the Minister replied that he understood that
there is no evidence to suggest that these non-statutory arrangements are
inadequate. He added that if the current arrangements, which are based on
Planning Policy Guidance, were not satisfactory, the Ministry might want to
consider that in the future.
The Minister also agreed to bear in mind Mr Chidgey's comments regarding
inadequate fines being imposed on water companies when cases of river pollution
were brought to the Courts.
The Minister concluded by stating that further guidance will be issued in
January 2004 on water companies' long term plans to deal with the issue of sewer
Eastleigh is not the only area with this problem.
Following liaison with other Engineers and Environmental Health leads, it
is understood that the following at least also have problems -
Borough Council - infiltration into foul sewers.
District Council – six locations where foul sewers are inadequate.
& Deane – infiltration at St Marybourne, resulting in the need for
Southern Water to tanker and pump sewage into the river.
problems leading to the lobbying of OFWAT to enable Thames Water to improve the
problems leading to the lobbying of Thames Water to improve the infrastructure.
– problems with both Southern Water and Thames Water regarding the sewer
Southern Water gave a presentation to Eastleigh’s Scrutiny Panel
Drainage Sub-Group, which included the following key points -
billion pounds is to be invested in improving the environment during the period
2000 – 2005 (£700,000 a day).
Hampshire region, flooding caused by ground water infiltration is of more
concern to customers than sewer
flood prevention is not seen as a high priority by OFWAT. For example –
in 1995 – 2000 £1 million allocated every five years for
internal property flooding; but
o 1997 – 1999 £1 million spent every day on cleaning up the beaches.
Mori poll of
customers and constant lobbying by Southern Water
an extra £10 million for flood relief schemes for 2000/2005.
Water is continuing lobbying and is optimistic that OFWAT will grant more
funding for 2005/2010.
The level of
funding will determine the extent of -
pumping station improvements;
o CCTV infiltration investigations; and
o sealing and relining work.
Southern Water recognise that they are not a statutory consultee, but
feel that Eastleigh can use its own local knowledge of a site to arrive at a
Corporate Projects Officer, Eastleigh Borough Council
13 January 2004
Contact: John Gasson (023 8068 8322 email@example.com
|Author:||Nick Goulder, Director|
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