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The installation of nitrate removal plants at water treatment works in Sussex and Kent and supporting catchment management projects to secure long-term protection for water stored in chalk aquifers from nitrates.
95 million litres of water each day
2016 for four nitrate removal plants in Sussex and 2019 for one in Kent, with supporting catchment work in 2015–20
The Brighton and Worthing areas of Sussex and Medway in Kent.
We will work in partnership to reduce the amount of nitrates (for example, from fertilisers) used in Groundwater Protection Zones. These zones cover the land above the chalk aquifers from which we abstract the majority of water we supply for drinking. By protecting these sources, we are able to avoid the need to develop new sources to replace them if nitrate levels became too high.
This option runs in parallel with the addition of nitrate removal plants at five water treatment works – two in the Worthing area by 2016, two in the Brighton area by 2016 and one in Medway, Kent, by 2019. These will remove nitrates from the water supplies in the short term and will be needed less and less often as the catchment management schemes begin to take effect.
The catchment management schemes will provide a long-term sustainable solution to protect water sources from rising levels of nitrate. They are more cost effective and therefore have a lower impact on customer bills because they do not involve the maintenance and operational costs of running equipment at the treatment works.
We will work with landowners, environmental organisations and local authorities, such as the South Downs National Park, to deliver the catchment schemes.