Lancing sewage leak: Southern Water offers compensation to residents and responds to non-payment threats

Compensation is being offered to residents affected by multiple sewage leaks in Lancing's West Beach.

Repair work on a burst main in West Way is ongoing after a leak on Wednesday (December 22) — the fourth in three months on the same residential estate — resulted in heavy sewage flooding onto pavements and driveway.

Some social media users, who live in the area, have threatened that they won't pay their water bills until the problem is fully fixed.

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So that homes 'can continue to use their services as normal', tankers remain in the area to manage the flow of wastewater. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

Southern Water said on Thursday evening that works were 'progressing well', adding: "Our focus is also on cleaning and disinfecting the area for customers, with additional cleaning units are arriving tomorrow to provide further support.

"We are visiting all the properties affected by the burst, and offering compensation."

Southern Water said it 'fully appreciates' the frustration the ongoing issue is causing and understands the strength of feelings 'that are driving customers to consider non-payment of bills'.

"However, we urge them to express concerns with us directly so that we can liaise with them on the matter," a spokesperson added.

Traffic management on the A259 'must stay in place for now' to allow tankers to work safely. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

"If customers fail to pay their bills there can be an impact on their Credit File and this is something we wish to avoid.

"We will make sure that customers’ properties are returned to their pre-burst state, cover any expenses incurred as a result of the burst, and as mentioned above, be offering compensation."

Southern Water said it is committed to preventing this wastewater main 'from causing further issues in the future', adding: "While there isn’t a quick or easy solution, we will be replacing the main in full next year.

"Initially we will be lining the main to improve its integrity in the new year, while we undertake surveying, design and planning to replace the full main, which extends over 1.7km, over the course of 2022."

Repair work on a burst main in West Way is ongoing after a leak on Wednesday (December 22) — the fourth in three months on the same residential estate Photo: Eddie Mitchell

So that homes 'can continue to use their services as normal', tankers remain in the area to manage the flow of wastewater.

The spokesperson said: "This means that traffic management on the A259 must stay in place for now to allow this to happen safely.

"We apologise once again to both residents and road users for the disruption this is causing. We are doing all we can to make the repair quickly and minimise the impact on people."

In a further update on Friday morning (December 24), Southern Water said the fix had been finalised, allowing local pumping stations to be restarted.

"Wastewater flow through the repair has been passing as normal overnight so the on-site tankers and traffic management on the A259 will be removed today.

"A focussed clean-up of the roads and homes in the immediate locality of the burst will continue at full-pace today – we will return after Christmas for a further, final clean-up of the wider area.

"Repair and restoration work will also take place after Christmas to the excavation sites, kerbs, pathways and roads.

"We will have people on site 24/7 across the whole Christmas period so that the burst sites can be monitored closely.

"We are grateful for the patience and understanding the residents and users of the roads impacted by this event."