On Monday night [January 25] Southern Water attended an open meeting to discuss the decline of marine fish and other wildlife in Langstone Harbour, Portsmouth.
There are concerns amongst some local interest groups that the decline of wildlife in the harbour is linked to discharges from the company’s Fort Cumberland Wastewater Pumping Station.
Paul Kent, Southern Water’s wastewater strategy manager attended the meeting. He said, “It was great to meet people who have a keen interest in the harbor and talk through their concerns.
“Whilst no cause was identified for the changing ecology in the harbour, there is no evidence to suggest that it is associated with ourselves. However, we are committed to doing whatever we can to help improve water quality across the city.”
Southern Water has recently invested £13 million at Fort Cumberland to ensure any emergency discharges into the harbour are infrequent and pass through a screening process.
In the past 12 months the company has reported an 88 per cent decrease in the number of discharges from Fort Cumberland and a 53 per cent reduction in discharges across Portsmouth.
Paul Kent added, “Moving forward we are keen to ensure the recent improvements are maintained.”
The company has also invested a further £20 million on an ambitious scheme to stop the equivalent of 4,500 bath tubs of rainwater from entering the city’s sewer system during storm conditions.
Portsmouth was one of the first places in the UK to have a dedicated sewer network. Built in Victorian times, it carries both wastewater and surface water which can result in the system becoming overwhelmed in storm conditions.