Extra £40 million needed to upgrade Jersey's ageing sewage system, say politicans

  • ITV Channel reporter Fred Dimbleby discovers why Jersey's old sewage system is blocking future housing developments

A further £40 million is needed to upgrade Jersey's ageing sewage system, according to government officials.

In January, a review by the island's Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel said £52.4 million must be spent if the Government is to meet its target of building 800 new houses a year until 2030, including 3,000 affordable homes.

More than £15 million has already been set aside for improvements, part of which will go towards building new storage tanks, similar to the cavern in Snow Hill.

But tens of millions of pounds are still needed to upgrade the out-of-date system.

Jersey's Infrastructure Minster Andy Jehan has promised to work with colleagues to ringfence extra money.

He added: "We've got this funding for this year and the next year, but we need more funding so we can get the sewage coming here directly rather than coming in tankers."

While the new Sewage Treatment Works at Bellozanne can deal with waste for up to 140,000 people, the pipes stretching out across the island need improving.

Head of Liquid Waste Duncan Berry has said it is "a big issue".

He added: "Much of our network is at capacity so if we now allow more houses to connect we'll end up spilling and causing pollution so we need to upgrade the network before we can allow future development."

At the time of the scrutiny review, Deputy Steve Ahier agreed that major improvements are needed.

He explained: "I'd like to reassure islanders that this is a priority.

"A lot of the existing network was built back in the 1950s, or even earlier, and is already at its limits ... that's why additional funding of £15.6m was allocated in the recently-agreed Government Plan. We can now step up this work, but future funding is required after 2025."