The population of Kent is predicted to be the fastest growing in the UK during the next 20 years and we are investing millions of pounds to ensure we can cope with the expansion.
During 2009-2010, a £53 million upgrade of our Ashford Wastewater Treatment Works was completed. The work improved the quality of water recycled to the River Stour.
We also started work on a £9 million scheme to install more than 4km of sewers in Ashford and build two pumping stations to support future developments in the area. The work included tunnelling under the M20 motorway, using a tunnel boring machine to minimise disruption.
A £12 million scheme got under way in Canterbury to build a storm tank, new sewers and a pumping station This upgrade is designed to increase the capacity of the network in the county and help protect against flooding.
More than 250,000 new homes are also planned for the north of the county in the Thames Gateway area, where we are creating a new 4km sewer to transfer waste to our treatment works in Northfleet, which has undergone a modernisation programme. This is an investment of more than £25 million.
Elsewhere in Kent, we planted more than 7,500 reeds at Lenham as part of a green scheme to bring cleaner waters to the River Great Stour. The common reeds – phragmites australi – generate oxygen which helps to clean the 4.3 million litres of wastewater flowing to the site each day.