Nature-based wetland sewage project revealed for West Sussex

Southern Water says wetlands provide another way of treating wastewater to reduce the amount of phosphorus that goes into nearby watercourses. Credit: Southern Water

Plans for a nature-based wetland sewage project in West Sussex have been revealed.

Southern Water wants to create a large wetland the size of two football pitches next to its treatment works in Staplefield.

The water company says wetlands provide another way of treating wastewater to reduce the amount of phosphorus that goes into nearby watercourses.  

Water tolerant plants act as a filter and remove contaminants from wastewater, improve local biodiversity and absorb and store carbon.

Treated wastewater from the current treatment works would feed the wetland at one end and filter through the wetland, removing effluent at the other. 

Southern Water says the wetland’s creation has been "carefully planned, including carrying out a feasibility study, groundwater risk assessments and environmental planning".

Project Manager Cécile Stanford, Southern Water, added: “This is a really important project that will have clear benefits in improving biodiversity and is a natural way of treating wastewater. This project will also help educate future generations about the benefit of wetlands.”

It is part of Southern Water's £3bn investment between 2020 and 2025 to improve its environmental performance.

Work is expected to start in May, if plans are approved by West Sussex County Council.


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