StageCorporate Majority | Acquired
About Southern Water
Southern Water is a water and wastewater company in the South East of England. Southern Water supplies drinking water to customers in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and also treats and recycles wastewater for customers across the region.
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Latest Southern Water News
May 31, 2023
| Fed-up traders have blasted Southern Water for pumping sewage into the sea over a dry weekend, saying it is the “same s***, different day – literally”. The firm discharged from an overflow pipe into bathing areas covering Herne Bay , Whitstable and Tankerton overnight on Friday, blaming a “technical failure” at a pumping station. The incidents at the weekend have been branded “an additional blow” to businesses already blighted by the cost-of-living crisis and Covid lockdowns. Hassan Hassan, who owns popular cafe Makcari’s in Herne Bay, said the releases impact his business “massively”. “If you have a young family, you are going to avoid anywhere with sewage as there’s no point going to the seaside because you can’t dip your feet in the water,” he said. “You will just go somewhere else. I personally wouldn’t allow my children into the water and I would just go somewhere else. Herne Bay traders say the release is “an additional blow” to businesses already struggling in the cost-of-living-crisis and in the aftermath of Covid lockdowns. Picture: Alan Langley “It’s another blow with the cost of everything going sky high.” Southern Water has been criticised over a series of wastewater releases in recent years and was named among the worst-performing companies by Ofwat in 2022. In 2021, it was fined a record £90m for dumping billions of litres of raw sewage into the sea at 17 sites, with various spillages around the east Kent coast. The firm blamed its most recent discharges on a “technical failure”, triggering a fierce reaction from businesses, who said: “It’s always a different excuse and that’s the problem.” The first release happened shortly before 10.30pm on Friday and impacted the bathing areas in Tankerton and West Beach, Whitstable. Hassan Hassan, who runs Makcaris in Herne Bay, has spoken out against the sewage releases in the town. Picture: Chris Davey But then shortly before 12.30am on Saturday, there was a second release affecting Herne Bay and Tankerton. The overflows are designed to legally discharge excess sewage and rainwater when under strain to prevent sewers becoming overloaded and backing up into homes. But there was no rain in the days leading up to the most recent releases. Southern Water says its wastewater pumping station in Station Road, Whitstable, experienced a “technical failure which resulted in a release” through a storm overflow pipe for a “very short period of time”. “Our team acted immediately, establishing the root cause of the failure and quickly fixed the issue,” a spokesman added. There were sewage releases over the weekend, which impacted Herne Bay. Picture: Alan Langley “However, when the system started running again it caused another very short spill. “Initial testing has shown that both spills had minimal to no impact on the bathing water and the Environment Agency has been notified.” But the statement has been slammed by traders who have called for immediate action. Mr Hassan added: “It’s always a different excuse and that’s the problem. “We are not dealing with Joe Bloggs who has made an error, as it’s a multi-million-pound company making a mistake again and again, so it’s not good enough. The bathing quality was also impacted in Tankerton “They should be heavily fined as the impact they have on businesses and the local economy is huge. “Mistakes happen but they only happen once – not again and again. “It is tiresome and the same s***, different day – literally.” Fellow businessman Mehmet Dari, who runs the A La Turka restaurant on Herne Bay seafront, also criticised the water company. He said: “It is absolutely disgusting. Mehmet Dari, who runs A La Turka, has called for Southern Water to take drastic action “We are struggling in the town with high costs and people not spending - and on top of this we have the sewage releases. “Of course it is going to put people off going to the seaside. “With the cost-of-living crisis, people might decide instead to come to seaside towns rather than going abroad this summer. “But if the sewage releases keep happening, people are going to be put off by that.” Mr Dari has called for Southern Water to pay reparations for the trade businesses have lost in the town as a result of pollution. Mehmet Dari, who runs A La Turka, has spoken out against the releases Southern Water says the cause of the releases was due to a technical failure. Stock image Swimmers were told last year not to go into the water at Herne Bay after a sewage leak. In August, a couple and their dog were struck down with sickness and diarrhoea following a dip in Herne Bay – just hours after a sewage discharge. A spokesperson for Southern Water said: “We are sorry that two short releases took place on Friday night, due to a technical failure at Whitstable Wastewater Pumping Station. “Initial testing has indicated that these had minimal to no impact on bathing water. “We understand the concerns of the community which is why it is one of our key areas where we are looking at nature-based and engineering solutions to reduce storm overflows. This work is led by our Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force. “This month we have been busy installing hundreds of water butts at homes near Tankerton Beach. We are also putting the finishing touches on reconfiguring Swalecliffe Wastewater Treatment Works which will result in fewer releases.” Southern Water is investing an extra £50 million by spring 2025 to reduce the use of storm overflows in Whitstable, Deal and Margate by at least 20% in two years.
Southern Water Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Southern Water founded?
Southern Water was founded in 1989.
Where is Southern Water's headquarters?
Southern Water's headquarters is located at Southern House Yeoman Road, West Sussex.
What is Southern Water's latest funding round?
Southern Water's latest funding round is Corporate Majority.
Who are the investors of Southern Water?
Investors of Southern Water include Macquarie Group.
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