Water company to tackle flood

Southern Water says it is committed to tackling a flooding problem at Winchelsea Beach which has seen gardens covered in sewage.

Head of Wastewater Simon Parker said: “We are playing our part in delivering an effective multi-agency approach to resolve the issues affecting residents as quickly and effectively as possible.

“Foul sewers serving the area are susceptible to infiltration from rising groundwater, as well as surface water run-off, particularly during and after heavy rain. High tides can also exacerbate the situation. At times, this means our sewer network can become overwhelmed by huge amounts of water it is not designed to deal with.

“In the face of these issues, we are working hard to keep the sewers flowing – delivering as normal a wastewater service for customers as possible and preventing sewer flooding as much as we can. This includes using tanker lorries to remove excess water from sewers, something we fully appreciate can be disruptive for customers. So, as a matter of priority, we are looking at other approaches we can use to clear inundated pipes which will allow us to further minimise the use of tankers. We are working with customers to further improve how we respond to reported issues.

“In terms of a long-term solution, we have recently surveyed the sewers in Winchelsea Beach to identify where water is forcing its way in and will shortly be carrying out £40,000 of work to seal these leaks.

“Discussions have also taken place with a local landowner about work they could carry out to improve surface water drainage in the area, which would help prevent our sewers from getting inundated. We have developed a dedicated Infiltration Reduction Plan for Winchelsea Beach which sets out the strategy to effectively manage infiltration of the sewers and details actions we and others are taking.

“We have regularly attended meetings of the local Flood Group for Winchelsea Beach and will be attending a further meeting to update residents in the spring.