Southern Water are looking into ways to improve the sewage pollution that has occurred in Thanet. It comes after nine beaches in the area from Palm Bay to Dumpton were forced to shut off to bathers last month after sewage was discharged for more than a whole day.
The Director of Infrastructure Mel Karam has met with Laura Sandys, the Member Of Parliament from South Thanet. Mel Karam has also met with Dave Melmoth from the Joss Bay Surf School and Surfers Against Sewage as well as the representative for the Broadstairs Tourism and Leisure Association Harry Lagan.
Mr Karan said: “Investment is not an issue. We continue to work with the district council and the other agencies to improve the situation in Thanet. Those options include building extra capacity and possible engineering solutions.”
Laura Sandy said that she raised a number of concerns to the utility provider about the infrastructure and the way they communicated the problems. The MP said: “This is an important issue for us all in Thanet, not least local business people who are at the coal face when there is an incident. It was therefore good to visit the site with Dave Melmoth of the Joss Bay Surf School and Harry Lagan of the Broadstairs Tourism and Leisure Association.”
Mrs. Sandy says she is happy that the business has agreed to work with people in order to make sure they improve services in the future. She said: “I am very pleased that Southern Water has said that it is willing to work with local stakeholders and has advised that investment is not an issue. There is much work to be done and I will be following up with Southern Water to request a communications round-table to ensure that the appropriate message gets out to both local residents and, importantly, prospective visitors.
“I will also be requesting a meeting specifically about infrastructure solutions as I am very clear that we need to find a lasting solution to ensure that we do not continue to experience the problems that we have been seeing.”
Southern Water are, however, asking their customers to co-operate in assisting them. They are asking people not to flush items like sanitary products, wet wipes or cotton buds. These can cause problems with the water treatment system and lead to further complications. Southern Water are also working with Thanet Council and local businesses to make sure problems are solved should they occur.