200 tonnes of waste cleared from Worthing's sewers in £500,000 jet wash project
200 tonnes of waste has been cleared out of Worthing's sewer network in a £500,000 spring clean.
Southern Water is jet cleaning two 1.8km stretches of trunk sewer leading into East Worthing Wastewater Treatment Works to help improve the quality of Worthing's bathing water, which is currently rated as 'good'.
The work, which started in January and is set to be completed by the end of March, will also help to prevent flooding and pollution incidents.
More than 200 tonnes of debris, including wet wipes, fats, oils and other materials have been pulled out from the sewers so far, a Southern Water spokesman said. This was partly from customers flushing the wrong things down their sinks and toilets.
Southern Water Project Manager, Lee Hooper, said: "We're investing £500,000 and using specialist contractors to clean two trunk sewers in Worthing.
"Following the large amount of debris found in the sewers, we're urging our customers not to flush fats, oils and greases down our sewers. Other unflushable items found include wet wipes and cotton buds.
"We're also carrying out works to check for misconnections, for example there might be foul sewers misconnected to the surface water drainage network. All of this work is fundamental in the improving the bathing water quality at Worthing."
Southern Water will be working in partnership with Worthing Borough Council to help improve bathing water, which includes extra dog patrols, more bins and educational visits to town centre restaurants.
Councillor Edward Crouch, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Environment, said: "We're proud of the wonderful coastal environment that is on our doorstep and want to do everything we can to preserve and enhance it for future generations."One of the key ways we can do that is by working with partners to take measures to improve the quality of our bathing water: the better our water becomes the better the offer becomes for residents and visitors which can only be good news for the town as a whole.
"I want to thank Southern Water for carrying out this work and the wider investment in improving the quality of one of the town's biggest assets."
This spring clean is part of Southern's Bathing Water Enhancement Programme, which has seen the company investing millions of pounds to reduce the impact of the wastewater network on bathing water quality. It has earmarked £31.5million for the programme between 2015 to 2020.
Bathing water is also affected by contaminated rainwater running off roads and agricultural land, wastewater from privately-owned treatment works, boats and animals on the beach such as dogs and seabirds, a spokesman said.