Friday, June 08, 2012

Southern Water Pollution the latest malarkey

With sewage still being pumped from Foreness Point untreated a mile and a bit out to sea, up to yesterday afternoon it would appear that Southern Water are no time soon going to sort out the problem or indeed answer questions such as these I put to Southern Water media bods earlier today.

How long before beaches are safe to use again?

Will Southern Water be paying for the clean up,compensating business or thousands of local residents and visitors?

Will Colin Hood Chairman or Matthew Wright of Southern Water be visiting the area to assess the damage?

Why is the sewage system not designed to cope with heavy rain?

As you can imagine Southern Water PR bods are unwilling to answer anything which might put not show their employers in the best light.

If you can bare to read the bland statements, click here for either Thanet Council or Southern Water, for myself I'd like to see Thanet council adopt a sharper approach to Southen Water's failure to protect the environment, it seems to me that such occurrences along coastal areas are not as rare as they should be.

Southern Water operate a monopoly business "regulated" by one of those quangos, Ofwat which inspire little confidence with consumers, I'd like to hear Southern Water offer to compensate the 120,000 plus residents and business community for the inconvenience and loss of trade but of course we wont.

Anyhow tiring of complacency I've contacted the Environment agency to see if they are considering any legal action against Southern Water, maybe it's just me but polluting 14 or is 16 miles of coastline seems a fairly considerable event, even after reading this final paragraph from TDC's latest statement.

Jon Griffin, Senior Environment Officer with the Environment Agency said: "We are working in partnership with Thanet District Council and other organisations to monitor the impacts of this event. We are awaiting the results of bathing water quality tests to make informed decisions with Thanet District Council about the re-opening of Thanet’s waters for bathing.”

Why isn't the Environmental officer saying something along these lines We are evaluating the evidence,  costing the damage and preparing to drag directors of Southern Water in to court.

What's needed is a blimin great wake up call for those who are failing to protect the environment as ever it is unlikely that the Chairman or his Chief Executive will take blame, which is why this will no doubt happen again.

I've contacted the Environment Agency to ask if they will be taking and legal proceedings against Southern Water, if they respond I'll let you know


  1. You may have missed it yesterday Tony but Thanet Independent Group's, Ian Driver, is organising an urgent enquiry into the spillage of raw sewage in the sea off Foreness Point over the Royal Jubliee Bank Holiday weekend.

    To quote from the press release.

    Driver, who Chair’s the Council’s powerful Scrutiny Panel (OSP) said “I have asked Council officers to arrange an urgent meeting of the Scrutiny Panel to begin investigations into what went wrong and why.”
    “I will be requesting the attendance of top bosses from Southern Water and the Environment Agency. I expect them to provide a full explanation of how this major pollution incident happened and what arrangements are in place to compensate local businesses who lost money because of the spillage.

    1. No I did see it but honestly, I don't take him that seriously, dig a bit look at his track record and then draw you own conclusions.

      Rather too many campaigns going on, if you ask me, seems to take a punt on an issue and looks for a reaction.

      Since you've bought it up, it looks like Worrow and the gang are now trying to cool it, accepting Mike Harrison suspension as being a credible response.

      This from Worrow "I support the decision of Councillor Mike Harrison's group to suspend him for making Homophobic comments.
      Although Mr Harrison's remarks are not at the same extreme level of hatred as the personally directed telephone call from Councillor Ken Gregory, they are still offensive enough to justify a suspension."

      If that isn't a climb down what is, given the offence caused to Ian Driver you would think he'd consider breaking from the arrangement with Labour. Time to put up or shut up.

      Just coming back to Driver with no sense of self importance and pomposity "Thanet Independent Group Councillor, Ian Driver, is organising an urgent enquiry into the spillage of raw sewage" and "Driver, who Chair’s the Council’s powerful Scrutiny Panel (OSP) " yes so important and soo powerful, what a laugh!

    2. More significantly, Tony, Laura Sandys is having a meeting with SW and the EA and she carries a bit more clout especially having access to ministers.

      Agree with you 100% about Driver for simultaneously he is thumping drums on animal exports, E & A closure, = marriage, the Broadway Practice and now sewage. All a bit far removed from emptying dustbins and, like you say, the follow up action depends on the public response to the first shout.

  2. They must be made to pay.
    I have asked them for the contact details of their CE but no response (surprise)
    They paid out £800,000 for the sewage release in Herne Bay according to the Gazunder today.

  3. One minute they impose a hose pipe ban which in itself is ridiculous and the next they cant handle too much water !

    "We are working in partnership with Thanet District Council and other organisations to monitor the impacts of this event."

    Seem to translate as, we will ALL be monitoring (Scrutiny committee dont make me laugh) how bright the public really are and to see just how much we can get away with.

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