Shanklin is 1 of 7 coastal areas selected for a range of improvements as part of the water company’s innovative £31.5 million Bathing Water Enhancement Programme, the first of its kind in the UK. The news broke back in May.
As part of the scheme, Southern Water are speaking to hundreds of customers in the area to help trace property misconnections – where wastewater pipes are incorrectly plumbed into surface water drains. These misconnections mean that wastewater from toilets, kitchens and bathrooms is pumped out to sea before it’s treated, affecting the quality of bathing water at local beaches.
Southern Water is planning to spend £6.6million in Shanklin and will be working closely with Isle of Wight Council on tackling misconnections and other issues – such as dog waste on the beach – which are currently preventing its bathing water reaching the highest standard.
Checking for misconnections is simple, and is being carried out on behalf of Southern Water by MWH Ltd and surveying experts WERM Ltd. While most of the work will be carried out on public land, surveyors may need to ask permission from householders and businesses to access part of their property to complete the checks.
Should a misconnection be found, engineers will work with property owners, businesses and the Council’s environmental health team to find the quickest and easiest way to put right a misconnection.
Southern Water Programme Manager Brian Rousell said:
“The South East’s bathing waters are already among the cleanest in the UK, but our customers have asked us to do more to help them get even better.
“We’re working in seven areas, including Shanklin, to help them reach the highest rating of ‘excellent’ by 2020 and stay there. This means bathing water will be cleaner than ever, which is good news for local people and the environment.
“We want to thank customers for their help during this first phase as we locate misconnected pipes, as this will form a major of part of improving bathing water quality for us all to enjoy.”
For more information on the Bathing Water Enhancement Programme visit www.southernwater.co.uk/bathingwaterenhancement. To find out how you can check your home for misconnections, visit www.connectright.org.