Bid to boost Bexhill’s bathing water quality

Dean Marks (right) and Anthony Ngandu from Werm Operational Survey team working in Hastings checking for water pollution in the streams that run through the Alexandra Park area in Hastings. Picture by John Conner Press Associates Ltd

Dean Marks (right) and Anthony Ngandu from Werm Operational Survey team working in Hastings checking for water pollution in the streams that run through the Alexandra Park area in Hastings. Picture by John Conner Press Associates Ltd

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A water firm has launched an initiative which it says will boost Bexhill’s bathing water quality.

Tougher European bathing water standards are now in force and Southern Water said it is taking action to help meet these requirements.

It has joined forces with the Environment Agency and Rother District Council to tackle problems which can affect bathing water quality.

These are mainly misconnections on the surface water sewer network.

Southern Water’s project manager, Brian Rousell, said: “Misconnections are where toilets, baths, sinks and kitchen appliances have been connected to the surface water instead of the foul sewers.

“This causes pollution of streams, beaches and bathing water as the run-off from rainfall flows straight into the sea – unlike the foul sewers which carry wastewater to the town’s treatment works to be processed.”

In nearby Hastings, Southern Water has been carrying out a programme of surveys and follow-up work to find these problems.

The company is now going to carry out the same exercise in Bexhill by checking hundreds of manholes and properties across the town.

Southern Water’s surveyors may need access to these customers’ gardens and houses to do the surveys.

A letter detailing the work has already been sent to those residents affected.

To confirm their identity the teams will carry an authorisation letter and identity card with their photograph on it. They must show residents this. If they do not offer customers an identity card, they should ask to see one.

If a misconnection is found, Southern Water will rectify it if the sewer is the company’s responsibility.

If not, the council’s environmental health team will contact the homeowner to discuss what happens next.

If residents have any queries about this work, or the identity of a surveyor, contact Southern Water’s Customer Service on 0330 303 0368, quoting reference 639012.

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