An innovative 18-month programme by Southern Water to enhance and protect bathing water in Shanklin has come to fruition with the final planting of trees, new fencing and extension of water troughs at Holme Farm in Shanklin.
Trees and reed beds will lock rainwater into the land preventing runoff contaminated with animal waste from entering streams and going into the sea. The fencing will keep livestock from going into streams.
Southern Water which serves the Isle of Wight with both fresh drinking water and the removal of wastewater, invested over £4million in Shanklin.
Shanklin is now classed by the Environment Agency as an ‘Excellent’ Designated Bathing Water and Southern Water is committed to maintaining water quality. Every designated bathing water on the Island now meets this stringent standard.
Six main potential causes of contamination affecting bathing water were identified in the area, so the project was designed to help combat these. The six causes were: misconnected properties, sewer maintenance, animal faeces, privately owned sewerage systems, emergency or storm overflow and water run-off from land.
Meanwhile, a new storm sewer was built under Arthur’s Hill in Shanklin to support the harvesting of excess stormwater which will help to prevent flooding and spills at times the system would otherwise be overwhelmed – the new tanks should cut storm releases by 33 per cent.
Southern Water Regional Manager, Keith Herbert, said: “I live on the Isle of Wight myself and our region’s bathing waters are precious and among the cleanest in the UK, so I am delighted to be able to shout about the multi-million-pound bathing water enhancement project that was the first of its kind in the UK and it took place here!
“The project was ambitious because bathing waters are influenced by so many factors, many of which sit well outside our control, however, to succeed we worked with a number of partners.”
The measures by Southern Water to meet its own demanding targets for quality, well over-and-above what the regulators require were designed to leave a long-lasting legacy.
Herbert added: “While this project has now completed, Southern Water’s efforts to protect the bathing water in the area doesn’t end here, of course, an ongoing focus remains on ensuring Shanklin maintains its excellent status and we are looking forward to entering the 2020 bathing season soon.”