No pollution is acceptable to us or our customers and we apologise for the impact the latest incident has had on local residents, businesses and the environment.
We are dedicated to protecting the environment and reducing pollution incidents is a top priority for us. We have invested £3.2billion across our region in the last six years to improve the capacity and efficiency of the wastewater network and will continue to do, with a further £1.7billion committed for the next four years.
As part of the Government’s CSO Task Force we are committed to tackling this national and complex issue and we are leading the way with the publication of our comprehensive Pollution Incident Reduction Plan last year.
Wastewater releases at times of heavy rainfall happen across the UK to protect properties from flooding. The release that happened overnight on 16 June was caused by a combination of heavy rainfall and lightning strike during the storms which caused a short power failure and affected systems on site at our Margate Water Pumping Station. Back-up generators are in place. As part of our preparations for the predicted thunderstorms and heavy rainfall we also had a team standing by in the area. These additional precautionary measures meant we were able to immediately begin work restoring the site to full operation. Unfortunately, we had to make this emergency release to protect local homes and businesses from internal flooding.
Our investigations into this incident are ongoing and we continue to work closely with the Environment Agency and Thanet District Council. We continue to monitor the coastline and clean-up after each high tide.
A compensation scheme for businesses is available and business owners affected by this incident can make a claim.