WATER off the shores of Leigh and Southend is now set to benefit from all-year round testing in a bid to prevent sewage spills.
Currently, the water is only tested during between the middle of May and the end of September, but sewage spills have plagued the water and sparked numerous “do not swim” warnings in recent years.
This year, 45 spills were reported from 14 storm overflows between January and September.
Anglian Water have since agreed to year-round testing and real time feedback to address the issue, meaning residents will be able to access up to date information and verify spills within one hour.
Roughly £104 million will be invested in Southend as part of Anglian Water’s ambition to make the city an “international exemplar for surface water management.”
The MP for Southend West held a recent ‘Sewage summit’ at Leigh Sailing Club to demand action, in an event that was attended by campaigning groups Southend Against Sewage and Surfers Against Sewage, as well as the local Bluetits Chill Swimmers.
The panel at the event included Dr Robin Price, director of quality and environment at Anglian Water as well as nine further representatives from Anglian Water.
Speaking after proceedings, Ms Firth said: “The huge investment by Anglian Water will make us an international exemplar for surface water management and help to deliver the reduction in sewage spills that my constituents desperately deserve.
“The commitment to monitor our water year-round and to roll out a ‘near real time’ alert system by January 2024 is a fantastic step forward, but there is much work still to be done.
“We must continue to hold Anglian Water’s feet to the fire to deliver their sewage discharge reduction target ahead of their schedule in 2030. There is no doubt that by working together, we are winning on this vital issue for our city.”
Picture: Sewage Summit Pic: Anna Firth MP
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