A packed parish hall attended a meeting of the Freshwater Bay Residents’ Association (FBRA) to discuss the pressing issue of storm-water overflow and sewage pollution in the area.
MP, Bob Seely, together with representatives from Southern Water, Surfers Against Sewage and local swimmers came together with concerned residents to share information and seek solutions.
The MP explained that the Island is a test case for best practice improvement. Millions of pounds is going to be spent to improve the environment. This includes improvements to pumping stations, improving drain connections so the sewers function better, working with property owners to manage water from roofs and pavements, roll-out of slow-drain water butts and sustainable drainage schemes.
Southern Water’s Pathfinder project manager, Keith Herbert, explained the complex issue of storm overflows and discussed the Pathfinder Project, which aims to improve water quality and reduce flooding through aligning tubes, redesigning roadways, and slowing the release of water. He also outlined plans to reduce sewage overflows through nature-based methods like installing water butts, permeable surfaces, swales (shallow drainage channels), and upgrading treatment plants.
A Southern Water spokesman said: “We’re keen to improve our engagement with residents and stakeholder groups across our region including the Isle of Wight about how we’re reducing use of storm overflows.
“It is crucial that we work collaboratively on many of the solutions involved and, at the same time, recognize and respond to concerns our customers have about storm overflows.”