Southern Water has today been fined £500,000, after untreated sewage was pumped into the Swalecliffe Brook, polluting a 1.2km stretch of the watercourse and killing local wildlife.
Environment Agency officers found the water was heavily discoloured with dead sticklebacks and eels along the polluted stretch of the watercourse. Water quality monitoring recorded high levels of pollution and very low dissolved oxygen.
A survey identified 249 fish had been killed as a result of the polluting discharge, including 155 eels which are a critically endangered species.
Alan Cansdale, Environment Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
My officers are carrying out ongoing reviews of the Southern Water infrastructure involved in this incident, and we are pleased that Southern Water Services have acknowledged improvement is needed and have committed over £500,000 to increase the standards of wastewater treatment at the site.
Canterbury City Council’s assistance was vital in the response to the incident and their subsequent expert guidance and technical input in bringing this important issue to court. We will continue to work with them to improve bathing and shellfish water quality remains one of our joint top priorities.
Chefs have been taken underground - to see the damage to the south's sewers, caused by fat which is poured down the drain.Read the full story ›
Video. Air Cadets in Sussex have joined forces with one of the region's water providers to highlight the dangers to our drains - caused by wet wipes.
The cadets tied hundreds of the household tissues together to form a rope which they then used to pull an aeroplane. Andy Dickenson reports.
Southern Water has apologised 'unreservedly' for problems at its Margate Pumping Station after being fined £200,000 at Canterbury Crown Court for releasing wastewater into the sea during bad weather and storms.
Southern Water Director Geoff Loader said that, although the company had failed to operate within its strict environmental permit, Margate beaches had continued to meet European quality standards.
"Failures with our plant are not acceptable. We fully understand the importance of water quality to the reputation of Thanet as a leading tourist resort in the UK and we will always work to protect and enhance that.”
Southern Water want to hear from customers how often it is acceptable to introduce hosepipe bans in a drought.
The company is hosting a public consultation on its 25-year Water Resources Management Plan, which sets out how there is enough water for the future.
The consultation will close on August 12, 2013 and touches issues such as hosepipe bans and plans to secure a more resilient water supply between 2015 and 2040.
The proposals allow for the introduction of Temporary Use Bans, which include hosepipe bans once every ten years on average.
Meryrick Gough, Water Strategy and Resources Manager, said: "Our aim is to only introduce hosepipe bans after we have experienced at least two dry winters in a row.
At the moment we are seeing Temporary Use Bans in Sussex and Kent once every six years.
The resources in Hampshire and Isle of Wight are more resilient, with the last restrictions on the Island in place in 2006 and none in Hampshire since 1976."
A burst water main in Worthing has left more than 3000 homes without water.
Southern Water said they have located the cause of the problem but are still working to restore water supply to normal.
South East Water is inviting customers to have their say on plans to secure water supplies in Sussex.
Two public exhibitions have been planned to show customers how the recently published Water Resources Management Plan will affect them.
The exhibitions are being held on June 4, between 12-8pm, at Arlington Village Hall in East Sussex and June 21, 12-8pm, at South Heighton Village Hall in Newhaven.
The company will also show how it proposes to meet the growing demand for water between 2015 and 2040.
Everyone who uses water has a part to play in helping to ensure that there is a secure, sustainable supply of water in the future.
We want to share our proposals with our customers to ensure that their views can be properly considered and taken into account in the final plan, which is expected to be published in early 2014.
Southern Water has unveiled plans to manage our water supplies over the next 25 years. The company says it is facing increasing challenges - including climate change and an increasing population.
Nearly £100million has been earmarked to pay for schemes which include treating and re-using waste water, and making greater use of sea water.
Earlier, Sangeeta spoke to Meyrick Gough who is Southern Water's strategy manager.
Southern Water say they will do more to tackle leaks and invest in new ways to re-use water to prevent shortages in the South East of England.
The company was criticised by consumers after they were forced to introduce a hosepipe ban in 2012, because there were not enough supplies for its two million customers. Restrictions were lifted after a very wet summer filled reservoirs.
The company is looking to extend the regional network in the South East to secure future water supplies for the next 25 years.
Southern Water will now carry out a three month public consultation on the Water Resources Management Plan for 2015-2040 to find out what customers think.
The recent snow may have been pretty to look at, but as it melts it's begun to cause a problem - and not just because of flooding. The extra water is putting pressure on the underground sewerage system and, in part of Kent, it's causing problems for residents. David Johns reports.