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East Sussex village takes leading role in finding ways to reduce storm overflows

Villagers will be able to learn more about how their East Sussex community it helping to shape Southern Water’s approach to cutting storm overflows when a special drop-in event is held this month.

Villagers will be able to learn more about how their East Sussex community it helping to shape Southern Water’s approach to cutting storm overflows when a special drop-in event is held this month. 

Just last year Fairlight was named the sixth Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force pilot project, in which nature-based and engineering solutions are being trialled to reduce the amount of ground and surface water entering our sewer system – which after heavy rain can cause storm overflows when our network cannot cope with demand. 

And in less than a year the team have: 

  • Installed more than 260 slow-drain water butts at customer properties, which collectively will prevent 26,300 litres of water from running off the ground into sewers each rain event 
  • Upgraded and optimised our existing infrastructure, like pumps and outfall pipes, so they cope better during high demand 
  • Begun planning sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) to increase natural drainage and manage excess surface water, including large roof rainwater management schemes 
  • Fixed eight illegally connected private pipes to our wastewater network at Knowle Road with further investigations due to take place  
  • Carried out 5km of detailed surveys of sewers in the area to ensure they are working properly and where groundwater is getting in, re-lining projects are scheduled  
  • Forged strong working relationships with partners including Marsham Sewer Trust, the Environment Agency, and East Sussex County Council.  

 

The drop-in event will take place at Fairlight Village Hall on Monday 15 April, hosted by the Task Force between 10am and 3pm.  

Project Manager for Southern Water, Angus Cramp, said:  

“Reducing storm overflows is our top priority and we have made strong progress in laying the groundwork for success in Fairlight with the work we have done so far.  

“We know there is lots more to do, and we’re excited about sharing our plans for this year and 2025 with the local community at this drop-in event. We will also talk about our wider £1.5bn Clean Rivers and Seas Plan which sets out how we will reduce storm overflows across the South over the next ten years.” 

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