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Bathing Water enhancement FAQs

  1. How will you pick the seven that are progressed? 
    • The selection criteria are essentially a process of prioritisation to ensure that the bathing waters selected have achievable results within the given budgets and timeframe and will provide the maximum possible benefit from the intervention.
  2. What are the selection criteria for picking the seven? 
    • For each bathing water, the criteria cover the cost, value, time, benefit and deliverability of the required intervention.
  3. How did you decide the selection criteria? 
    • The selection criteria were chosen and agreed with our regulator, Ofwat, as being the most clear and objective way of deciding which bathing waters to progress to solutions.

      The whole process, from planning through to selection and the practical solutions, is being overseen by Southern Water’s Customer Advisory Panel – an independent group which provides challenge, advice and scrutiny of the company’s delivery of its Business Plan.
  4. What will happen to those not chosen or not shortlisted? 
    • We plan to continue the programme on a rolling basis over successive five-year investment periods. If future funding for these is supported by customers and secured from our regulator, the 14 bathing waters on the shortlist which weren’t chosen will be reassessed along with all of the other bathing waters as part of the continuation of the scheme.

      We will also advise and support, where we can, local authorities and other agencies on improvements they can make at these bathing waters in the meantime.
  5. What is the next stage of the work? 
    • The next stage of the work is to carry out the detailed investigations at each of the 21 shortlisted bathing waters. This will enable us to prioritise the seven that are progressed to intervention.
  6. When will the investigations start and how much will they cost? 
    • The investigations will begin in January 2016 and continue over the year. They are expected to cost about £2 million in total. They are being carried out by our strategic solutions partner MWH.
  7. What will you be investigating? 
    • We will be looking at a range of potential bacteriological influences on bathing water quality such as run-off from agriculture including waste from animals and run-off from roads and industrial land.

      Misconnections of domestic and commercial wastewater pipes into the surface water system can cause pollution as the waste from toilets, kitchens and other domestic facilities are carried out to sea without treatment.

      Dogs and animals on the beach including seabirds can also affect water quality.
  8. What happens after the investigations? 
    • Once the investigations are completed, the seven bathing waters will be identified and the solutions to address their respective pollutions will be progressed.

      This work is expected to take up to a further two years.
  9. How much will it cost? 
    • The programme has a budget of up to £31.5 million.

      However, until the investigations are complete – we will not know what type or level of interventions are required at each bathing water and therefore exactly how much this delivery stage of the work will cost.
  10. Will the work continue after 2020? 
    • We have committed to work with other agencies, local communities and landowners to bring all coastal waters at bathing beaches in the region up to the standard required to achieve Blue Flag status by 2040.

      However, this is dependent on continued support from our customers and regulator to do so.
  11. Why am I being asked to rate beaches? 
    • The selection criteria were chosen and agreed with our regulator, Ofwat, as being the most clear and objective way of deciding which bathing waters to progress to solutions.

      The whole process, from planning through to selection and the practical solutions, is being overseen by Southern Water’s Customer Advisory Panel – an independent group which provides challenge, advice and scrutiny of the company’s delivery of its Business Plan.

      One of the selection criteria agreed by Ofwat is 'benefit to users'. This will be defined and scored by our customers. Focus groups will help us to understand what is important to customers about bathing waters. Customers will be asked to rank and score these factors to give an overall score for each bathing water.

      This survey will be taking place at or around the 21 selected bathing waters throughout the 2016 bathing water season. The score will be used alongside the other criteria to choose the final seven bathing waters.

 
 
 
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