Latest Information from Southern Water
10th January 2018
Subject: From Southern water – update on Winchelsea Beach
Good morning, I am writing to update you on our work to keep our sewers in Winchelsea Beach working as effectively as possible for residents.
Having carried out a detailed site visit and further analysis, we have established that our Morlais Ridge Wastewater Pumping Station (WPS) is operating effectively. However, both this WPS and our WPS at Victoria Way, further upstream, are receiving large amounts of flow, with levels in the sewers high, based on our team lifting manhole covers to see things at first hand. The team also noted that there is a large amount of standing water in places (see attached photo) and high levels in local drainage ditches, the latter being an indication that groundwater levels are very high locally.
While we have carried out significant survey and sealing work to protect our network from infiltration, the above situation could well mean that surface water is still getting into the system – for example, via unsealed private manhole covers. Plus, with groundwater levels high, infiltration points that were not apparent when we conducted our surveys some months ago could now be allowing water in – you may recall we discussed sewer infiltration reduction work being a gradual, iterative process, as groundwater can find a new point of entry once you have blocked off its previous route.
We are carrying out further enquiries, including liaising with Winchelsea Sands Caravan Park and Rye Bay Caravan Park, to identify ways in which we can prevent surface water entering the sewers, such as making sure all local drainage ditches are working effectively. Of course, in the meantime, we have increased our tankering operation to include removing flows at Victoria Way WPS, as required, helping to make sure customers are able to use their bathroom and kitchen facilities as normal.
As ever, I will keep you posted as this matter progresses. I would also be very grateful if you can ask residents to report any sewer issues to us as soon as they can via tel. 0330 303 0368.
All the best Joel
Stakeholder Engagement Manager (Sussex)