Sewage still being pumnped in to River Lavant

The emergency sewage pump at Singleton.''''Photo by Louise Adams C130210-2 Chi Sewage

The emergency sewage pump at Singleton.''''Photo by Louise Adams C130210-2 Chi Sewage

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‘EMERGENCY’ measures to relieve pressure on sewerage systems and prevent flooding in the Lavant Valley have been in place for more than two weeks, despite fears over the risk to human health.

Sewage is still being pumped in to the River Lavant, north of Chichester, to relieve ‘exceptionally high’ groundwater levels and authorities are showing no sign of stopping.

When the pumping was first reported in the Observer two weeks ago county councillor Mike Hall said the risk to human health was ‘too high’ with E.coli and enterrococci being detected.

The aging sewers and infrastructure have come under fire from residents, who say they have been let down by the system all too often.

Brian Gatterell, from Chichester, said: “This happens every time we have a wet winter.

“No doubt ‘specialists’ will pop along this summer and not find any sewage pipes letting in groundwater.”

Georgina Bernard, from Chichester said: “We pay them enough money to do it the right way.”

Cllr Hall has condemned the actions of Southern Water and the Environment Agency, criticising the sewage dump as ‘unacceptable’ and demanding the operations ‘cease immediately’.

Tankering and pumping took place in July last year when systems were overflowing after heavy rainfall.

A spokeswoman for Chichester Harbour Conservancy said they ‘remain concerned’ that pressure for more development in the area will ‘put more strain on a system which is already overloaded’.

The organisation is worried no long-term solution had been put in place.

Southern Water said it is still working to manage the groundwater levels after the ‘wettest year on record’.