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Southern Water to hold Isle of Wight event to update customers on work to prevent storm releases

A drop-in session in Gurnard will explain the work we’re doing to reduce storm overflows on the Isle of Wight

A drop-in session in Gurnard will explain the work we’re doing to reduce storm overflows on the Isle of Wight.  

The event at Gurnard Village Hall in Worsley Road on Wednesday February 1 will provide customers a chance to learn more about the Sandown Pathfinder Project. 

The project has been set up by the Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force in partnership with Isle of Wight Council, Environment Agency and Island Roads to tackle the use of storm overflows on the Island and surface water flooding.  

Each pathfinder looks at different challenges to overcoming the root causes of storm overflows – primarily rainwater overloading the system or groundwater infiltrations. Solutions being implemented include designing and building wetlands, installing sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS), improving sewer infrastructure and utilising nature-based solutions within communities.  

Other pathfinders are in Fairlight in East Sussex, Pan Parishes in Northern Hampshire and Margate, Swalecliffe and Deal in Kent. 

The Sandown pathfinder work includes: 

  • Installing thousands of slow-drain water butts to slow the flow of rainfall entering the combined sewer, some of these have already been installed in Havenstreet and there is an ongoing programme in Gurnard 
  • Working with partners to make better use of drainage features including roadside gullies, private water pipes and our own assets 
  • Adding additional treatment capacity to existing drainage infrastructure 

Pathfinder Lead Keith Herbert said: 

“There isn’t one single solution that will stop storm overflows. Improvements will only be made through collaboration with communities and other organisations. We are proud to be working with our colleagues at the Environment Agency and Isle of Wight Council to solve this issue. We are looking forward to sharing our plans with the public and explaining more about how we’re working hard to create a sustainable network for the Island.” 

The event will run from 4pm to 7pm and attendees will be able to meet representatives from Southern Water, Environment Agency, Isle of Wight Council, and project contractors and supporters.