Drainage system ‘not fit for purpose’

Dear Sir

The rain has stopped for a few days and we can all relax; no, not really.

On a few occasions during the last two months, Rye has come close to disaster. On the night of 30/ 31 January, a large area around Rye Market was within a few centimetres of serious property flooding. As it only became apparent after 11pm, many people would be unaware that all the road manholes and garden inspection chambers in the area were brim full. Southern Water sent Dynarod who soon found their equipment couldn’t cope with the size of sewers, so a contractor was called. By morning the levels were back to normal and Southern Water put the problems down to ‘hydraulic overload,’ in other words too much water.

To put it another way, the Rye system, comprising combined sewers taking household waste and rainwater from roofs, parking areas, etc. couldn’t cope with the new reality of Climate Change. The system, as I understand it, relies on gravity sewers to Tilling Green and Gibbets Marsh, then all the water, foul and storm, is pumped to the Rye Harbour Sewage Works for treatment and discharge to the Rother.

Perhaps Southern Water, who seem to be in a state of denial, could spend some of their dividends and bonuses on designing a new system which would be fit for purpose.

Yours faithfully, Chris McGrath, The Grove, Rye.