Manhood Peninsula campaigners have questions answered over potential impact of new sewage advice

Manhood Peninsula campaigners have held a meeting with Southern Water staff to discuss concerns over the latest sewage advice.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 9:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 9:12 am

Wastewater companies like Southern Water have been given the green light to pump sewage into sensitive waterways.

The Environment Agency has told water firms they can temporarily reduce the amount of chemicals used, due to the national lorry driver shortage.

This was described as a 'final nail in coffin' for Chichester Harbour

Southern Water agreed to a visit by ten members of the Manhood Peninsula Action Group to their Water Treatment Works at Sidlesham earlier this month.

Southern Water (SW) agreed to a visit by ten members of the Manhood Peninsula Action Group (MPAG) to their Water Treatment Works (WTW) at Sidlesham earlier this month.

"The group were hosted by four SW staff who were helpful and informative about the operations at the site," said Joan Foster, chairman of the Manhood Peninsula Action Group.

"This visit was part of MPAG’s remit to fully understand the issues which face the local population with the shortfalls of their waste water system."

Sidlesham is one of 3 WTWs which serve the Peninsula. The other two are Pagham and Chichester/Apuldram.

Ms Foster added: "It serves a population of about 23,000 people although this number increases considerably through the year due to holiday makers and other visitors to such amenities as caravan/mobile home parks.

"It discharges into Broad Rife and thence into Pagham Harbour.

"The WTW has a permit from the Environment Agency (EA) to discharge a daily average of 5,800 tons of treated effluent in normal ‘dry’ weather although the staff said that short term

flows of up to three times this amount could be satisfactorily handled."

In times of heavy rainfall, this maximum flowrate into the WTW can be 'easily exceeded', according to MPAG. This can then allow the untreated effluent to ‘overflow’ into Broad Rife.

Ms Foster continued: "While the hosts were confident that this particular WTW can cope with the current demand, MPAG is well aware of the overwhelming pressure on the pipework and pumping stations on the Peninsula, caused by heavy rainfall, that causes flooding of the raw effluent into homes, gardens and roads.

There are important differences in the on-site workings of the other WTWs which MPAG intend to investigate in order to come to a conclusion on the best available technology that should be used for the Peninsula’s WTWs."