Friday, 4 July 2014
Thanet Council - Council continues to seek assurances from Southern Water
Thanet District Council is continuing to meet with representatives from Southern Water to seek assurances following the recent incident affecting some of the district’s beaches.
The latest meeting, held on Tuesday 10 June, is the second visit Southern Water have made to the council following the emergency release from the Foreness Point Sewage Pumping station last month (Wednesday 21 May).
Southern Water met initially with the council’s operational staff on Tuesday 27 May.
The water company confirmed that the incident is still being investigated, but that initial assessments have shown there were no technical failures at the station. Southern Water have explained that with almost a month’s rain falling in a five hour period, the emergency release was made to prevent the sewer system from backing up and flooding homes.
Council Leader, Cllr Iris Johnston, said: “I’m grateful to Southern Water for taking the time to meet with us again. We’ve needed to share our concerns and to seek the strongest possible assurances for the future. We have a number of concerns following the incident in May, particularly around the effects on our vital tourism industry, and the impact this has on local businesses.
“We’ve made it clear we need the strongest assurances that the station is in full working order and that the company has the measures in place to mitigate the effects of a similar event in the future.
“The company has confirmed they’ve invested £3m to improve their systems since 2012 and now ensure the station is manned 24/7. We await the outcome of their full investigation and will continue to pursue the matter.”
Mel Karam, Southern Water’s Director of Infrastructure, said: “We have held productive talks with the council and will continue to work in a proactive and collaborative partnership with them as well as continuing to support a range of community events in the town to promote tourism.
“At a recent meeting, we explained that we have invested more than £3 million in improvements at our Foreness Point pumping station over the past two years and reassured the council that this investment is on-going.
“It is important to note that the emergency release to sea in May protected homes from flooding and was needed after almost a month’s worth of rain fell in five hours.”
Thanet’s beaches are stunning and the water quality is consistently excellent with readings clearly displayed. Thanet District also has seven Blue Flag beaches, more than anywhere else in England.