Sighting of ‘disgusting sewage’ raises concern at Chichester Harbour

Concerns have been raised about the quality of the water at Chichester Harbour.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 2:22 pm

Sherry Ware, who has lived in Soutbourne for 40 years, said she walks her dogs to Prinsted every day, and would not allow her grandchildren to go near the waters. 

“I noticed the quite frankly disgusting untreated sewage floating in the harbour getting worse and noticeable,” she said. 

“Why are there no public notices warning people of the contamination on the foreshore when there are young children, paddle boarders and swimmers putting themselves in danger?

Sherry said she would not allow her grandchildren to go near the water. SUS-210704-161813001

“There needs to be some kind of warning system, especially in Prinsted, where it has become more and more busy in the last two years. 

“It’s not only public health, what is it doing to the wildlife? 

“My main concern is for the health of young families using the waters.”

Sherry said it is ‘excellent news’ that Southern Water has invested in the infrastructure. Read more here

Sherry Ware is concerned about sewage discharge at Prinsted Harbour. Pic S Robards SR2104031 - 9 pics SUS-210304-161312001

“However, Prinsted is not a designated bathing area, so will it be included?” she asked. “It still needs some sort of warning system on the shoreline to enable the public to be aware of dangers when there is a discharge.”

The Environment Agency encouraged anyone who sees pollution in the harbour to report it by calling 0800 807060.

A spokesperson said: “We have asked Southern Water to investigate, survey and map groundwater infiltration in Chichester, produce and follow an ‘Infiltration Reduction Plan and to reduce storm discharges into Chichester Harbour

“Storm discharges operate for significant periods when there are high groundwater levels in the Chichester area. This leads to excessive infiltration into the public and private sewerage network, which leads to storm discharges.

Sherry Ware is concerned about sewage discharge at Prinsted Harbour. Pic S Robards SR2104031 - 9 pics SUS-210304-161407001

“In the short term, we have required Southern Water to install ultraviolet disinfection on the storm discharge to reduce any bacterial impact.”

Southern Water confirmed it visited the scene to investigate and found ‘no evidence’ of any faults with its own sewage system. 

The utility company said it uses an online release notification system, Beachbuoy, which provides ‘automatic updates’ about the operation of its Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) that can affect water quality at designated bathing waters and recreational harbours.