Pop star Feargal Sharkey shares Eastbourne water quality concerns
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Mr Sharkey, who was the lead singer for The Undertones in the 1970s and 80s, shared the Herald’s story about Caroline Ansell meeting with a senior Southern Water official to discuss water quality following new research which shows that pipe misconnections by builders are a major source of pollution, according to the Eastbourne MP.
He added: “Now about the 146,819 hours, on 16,688 occasions, that Southern Water spent dumping sewage into local rivers and onto local beaches last year?”
Mr Sharkey, who had a solo number-one hit in the 80s with ‘A Good Heart’, often takes to social media to talk about his concerns regarding water quality.
He said: “Eastbourne's bathing water was downgraded because it failed E. coli testing. Someone should have asked him [the senior Southern Water official] how may misconnections it takes to do that or is it because their sewage works is dumping raw sewage into the sea?
"Wanna guess who's legal responsibility it is to track down misconnections and work with the local council to get them sorted, and who's funded out of your water bill to do that very work? Yep, Southern Water.”
The singer later posted: “So Southern Water, appears your Eastbourne sewage works ‘has the capacity to easily treat all the sewage in Eastbourne’, yet last year your Eastbourne works still managed to spend 453 hours dumping sewage into the sea. Perhaps you'd care to explain why?”
A spokesperson from Southern Water said: “Extreme rain can overwhelm the combined sewer and drainage system which exists in many parts of our region. To protect homes, schools and businesses from flooding [this] has led to some overflows – releasing excess water into the sea. These discharges are heavily diluted, typically being 95 per cent rainwater.
“We are dedicated to significantly reducing storm overflows and are running innovative pilot schemes across the region to reduce the amount of rainfall entering our combined sewers by 2030.”
Southern Water has also set up a storm overflows task force to take action and help reduce the use of storm overflows.