Hampshire swimmers call for river sewage updates

by | Mar 13, 2023 | Science

Southern Water was fined in 2021 for illegally dumping sewage at 17 sites, including Bosham, West SussexA group of river swimmers have called on a water company to provide real-time data about untreated sewage releases into local waterways.Online information is already provided for sewage released into the sea.But the Hampshire Open Water Swimmers group said a system for rivers would help keep them informed and safe.Southern Water said it was working to reduce incidents and earn back the trust of its customers after record fines for unauthorised releases.Rachel Whitfield, from Hampshire Open Water Swimmers, said: “Southern Water don’t need to spend any money to make this situation better.”They could add rivers to their online Beachbuoy tool so that we’d be alerted when there had been a sewage overflow into the river.”In 2021, Southern Water was fined a record £90m for deliberately dumping billions of litres of raw sewage into the sea.The company admitted 6,971 illegal spills from 17 sites in Hampshire, Kent and West Sussex between 2010 and 2015.Toby Willison, director of quality and environment at Southern Water, said: “Where we cause pollution we are absolutely transparent about admitting it.”Trust is very easy to lose and hard to earn so we are working tirelessly to re-earn the trust of our customers.”Follow BBC South on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to south.newsonline@bbc.co.uk. …

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