“South West Water will spend £70m upgrading storage and infrastructure to cut discharges into coastal waters and rivers in Falmouth and Sidmouth.” [Ofwat]
South West Water overflows and monitoring [Sidmouth Town Council minutes]
The water regulator Ofwat has basically told water companies to invest in infrastructure – one area being on the Sid River:
More than £1.6bn is to be invested by water companies in England in the next two years, the regulator, Ofwat, has announced, in a victory for campaigners pushing to clean up rivers… South West Water will spend £70m upgrading storage and infrastructure to cut discharges into coastal waters and rivers in Falmouth and Sidmouth. Water firms to invest £1.6bn in improvements, says Ofwat | Rivers | The Guardian
Water Minister Rebecca Pow said: “These new schemes will help accelerate the delivery of the urgent improvements we need to protect our environment. It includes £1.1 billion of new investment to stop sewage discharges at sites across the country and will deliver a reduction of 10,000 discharges per year in places like Lake Windermere, the River Wharfe, Falmouth and Sidmouth.” Ofwat sets out £1.6bn boost for water company investment – Ofwat
As part of the new package of investment, announced in draft form by Ofwat, companies will commit £1.1 billion to help eliminate harm caused by storm overflows. A further £400 million will be spent on water resilience schemes and £160m to help reduce nutrient pollution. It includes major new projects such as: South West Water upgrading assets and storage to reduce discharges in Falmouth and Sidmouth (£70 million) … All work will start in the next two years, from 2023 to 2025.£1.6 billion investment brought forward to speed up vital water infrastructure projects – GOV.UK
Much of this action is due to work ‘behind the scenes’ – including from the town council:
South West Water overflows and monitoring
Councillor Lockyear presented his report of the meeting held between South West Water, Sidmouth Town Council and Simon Jupp MP.
1. the South West Water attendees be asked to review and agree the Notes of the Meeting between South West Water, Sidmouth Town Council and Simon Jupp MP held on Monday 24 January 2022.
2. a meeting be arranged with the Environment Agency, Sidmouth Town Council and Simon Jupp MP to present the data collated by the Town Council and discuss the SWW performance at Sidmouth. The Environment Agency was the organisation responsible for enforcing South West Water’s permit requirements.
3. a verbal report be given to Members of the Biodiversity Group who had volunteered to be trained by SWW to regularly test the water quality in the River Sid.
4. the Council request an early date for receipt of the information SWW had committed to report back to the Town Council: i) the introduction of potential changes to pumping regime to maximise the amount of sewage pumped to Sidford Sewage Treatment Works at the times of high rainfall. ii) Screen cleaning frequency.
5. following the meeting with the Environment Agency a report would be presented to Council so that Members could discuss further action including the reporting of this issue to Ofwat.