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Sewage firm Southern Water 'trying to blame' householders for waste discharges

Friday 13th May 2022

SEWAGE company Southern Water has been criticised for 'trying to blame' householders for millions of gallons of human waste being flushed into rivers and the sea.

Southern Water claims its 'investigators' have identified toilets and appliances which are wrongly connected, preventing pollution reaching the sea.

The sewage firm last year pleaded guilty to 6,791 illegal sewer discharges in Kent, Hampshire and Sussex between 2010 and 2015 and fined £90m.

But Liberal Democrat spokesman David Naghi said: "Southern Water has one job and one job only - to treat sewage safely and it doesn't do it.

"It is possibly one of the most inefficient companies in the country and not they're trying to blame householders. It's not their fault."

According to Companies House, Southern Water Services Limited's March 2021 accounts showed revenues of £784m with pre-tax profits of £139m. Householders are expected to pay around £400 a year for the Southern Water's services.

According to a press release, the sewage company has a "Misconnection Team" hunting down cases where "loos and dishwashers have been wrongly connected into surface water only drains".

It adds: " One wrongly connected loo can dump thousands of litres in flushes into the nearest water course."

The release added: "Enough wrong connections were found and fixed last year to stop more than 500,000 litres of wastewater ending up in streams or on beaches in Kent. #

"Some 50 major misconnections were identified in Kent last year. Householders are responsible for making the change but many simple don’t understand there is an issue."

Maidstone borough councillor Naghi added: “Southern Water is trying to deflect the responsibility onto normal people. It’s happy to take the fines while it’s racking up the profits.

“Southern Water can blame rainwater and old infrastructure, but its job is to treat our sewage and waste water – not dump it into the rivers and the sea.”