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Customer update: Work at The Green, Southwick

Our teams are working around the clock to tackle issues with groundwater impacting our network in Southwick.

Customer update: Work at The Green, Southwick

Update Friday March 8 

Due to the heavy rainfall, the ground in the Southwick area has become saturated and the local drains and sewers inundated with surface water run-off. Groundwater levels have risen to exceptionally record high levels following the wettest February on record (183.9mm in February 2024 compared to an average of 66mm) and more than 750 billion litres of rain having hit Sussex since December. This is putting significant pressure on our local sewage network. We are making every effort to protect customers and the environment through this exceptionally challenging period.  We have and continue to check in with affected customers on site and support them.  We continue to thank them for their patience during this exceptional period.

Since Thursday, 22nd February, our teams have been on site implementing a range of flow management solutions including; over pumping from a foul sewer to a larger foul sewer, tankering away flows and regularly checking the sewer network to mitigate the issues.

We’ve used a significant tankering operation to remove the excess flows and take it back to our treatment works, preventing properties from flooding.

We continue to protect homes from flooding in Southwick, using overland pipes to relieve the sewerage network by transferring screened, filtered, highly dilute wastewater at Shoreham Harbour.

Over-pumping to the environment is a last resort, and we must balance the low risk of environmental impact with the high risk of sewage flooding into homes.

An impact assessment to the environment is currently being undertaken, and we will be monitoring this closely with water quality monitoring equipment with live data and a weekly laboratory sampling regime. The results of which will be shared directly with the Environment Agency.

Update 8pm Wednesday March 6 

What has happened

Due to the  heavy rainfall, the ground in the Southwick area has become saturated and the local drains and sewers inundated with surface water run-off. Groundwater levels have risen to exceptionally record high levels following the wettest February on record (183.9mm in February 2024 compared to an average of 66mm) and more than 750 billion litres of rain having hit Sussex since December. This is putting significant pressure on our local sewage network. We are making every effort to protect customers and the environment through this exceptionally challenging period.  We have and continue to check in with affected customers on site and support them.  We continue to thank them for their patience during this exceptional period.

Since Thursday, 22nd February, our teams have been on site implementing a range of flow management solutions including; over pumping from a foul sewer to a larger foul sewer, tankering away flows and regularly checking the sewer network to mitigate the issues.

We’ve used a significant tankering operation (14 tankers) to remove the excess flows and take it back to our treatment works, preventing properties from flooding.

What the next steps are

Unfortunately, with the exceptional high groundwater across our operational area, our tankers are needed to be reprioritised to other emerging incidents where the risk to the environment is greater. To continue protecting homes from flooding in Southwick, overland pipes are now in place to relieve the sewerage network by transferring screened, filtered, highly dilute wastewater at Shoreham Harbour. Over-pumping to the environment is a last resort, and we must balance the low risk of environmental impact with the high risk of sewage flooding into homes.

An impact assessment to the environment is currently being undertaken, and we will be monitoring this closely with water quality monitoring equipment with live data and a weekly laboratory sampling regime. The results of which will be shared directly with the Environment Agency.

 

Update 3pm Wednesday 6 March

Our teams are working around the clock to tackle issues with groundwater and surface water impacting our network in Southwick.

Due to the consistent heavy rainfall, the ground in the area has become saturated and the local drains and sewers inundated with surface water run-off.

Groundwater levels have risen to exceptionally record high levels following one of the wettest winter periods on record in 2023/2024. This is putting significant pressure on our local sewage network. We are making every effort to protect customers and the environment through this exceptionally challenging period. We have and continue to check in with affected customers on site and support them. We continue to thank them for their patience during this exceptional period.

Since Thursday, 22nd February, our teams have been on site implementing a range of flow management solutions including; over pumping from a foul sewer to a larger foul sewer, tankering away flows and regularly checking the sewer network to mitigate the issues.

We have used tankers to remove the excess sewage and take it back to our treatment works. Traffic management is in place to slow the flow of vehicles and for health and safety reasons. The waterlogged ground and excessive heavy rainfall is the reason for this incident. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to residents and wish to assure customers that we are doing everything we can to mitigate the flooding. We’re sorry for any disruption this has caused.