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Southern Water updates Kent community on their efforts to prevent storm releases

Residents in the Swalecliffe and Whitstable areas of Kent heard more about how new approaches being piloted in their community are helping to tackle the use of storm overflows.

Residents in the Swalecliffe and Whitstable areas of Kent heard more about how new approaches being piloted in their community are helping to tackle the use of storm overflows.

Members of the public gathered at Whitstable Umbrella Community Centre on Saturday 21 January 2023 for a drop-in event to hear about progress made by the Swalecliffe (Whitstable) pathfinder project – one of six initiatives across the Southern Water region trialling innovative and nature-based solutions to slow the flow of rainwater entering the sewage system.

It is increased water flows in the network which result in the use of the UK’s network of permitted storm overflows, which activate to prevent homes and communities flooding.

The Swalecliffe (Whitstable) pathfinder is led by Southern Water’s Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force, and work includes:

  • Making better use of existing drainage features including our assets, roadside gullies and private water pipes
  • Installing sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in suitable locations
  • Adding additional treatment capacity to existing drainage infrastructure
  • Improving and optimisation of Swalecliffe Wastewater Treatment Works along with pumping stations in the area
  • Removal of any surface water pipes that have been misconnected into the combined sewer
  • Removal of impermeable land that causes rainfall runoff into the combined sewer

The drop in was attended by residents and local politicians, able to engage with the Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force, delivery partners, equipment suppliers and representatives from National Flood Forum.

Dr Nick Mills, Head of Southern Water’s Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force, said:

“We’re really excited to have showcased all the important interventions we’re making in Swalecliffe to slow the flow of water into combined sewers. 

“Working closely with partners to find solutions to help us towards our goal of significantly reducing the use of storm overflows is absolutely essential. I’d like to thank everyone who attended and engaged with what we are trying to do.”

To find out more about pathfinder projects visit Pathfinder projects (southernwater.co.uk)

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