Southern Water: St Leonards sewer prone to bursting is 'permanently' turned off

A sewer in St Leonards which was prone to bursting has been permanently turned off, a water company has announced.

Southern Water said it has now diverted wastewater from the old sewer into a new partially completed pipeline route.

The firm said the move is part of an £8 million scheme designed to tackle recent sewage leaks, which have affected the Bulverhythe area several times in the last year.

Last week more than 50 tankers arrived in town to take wastewater to other sites as part of a three-day planned shutdown of Cinque Ports Wastewater Pumping Station.

Sam Jenkins, Southern Water’s project manager, engineering and construction said: “Tankers operating around our Cinque Ports pumping station finished on Sunday, February 11.

“This has now enabled us to divert flows into our partially lined sewer earlier than anticipated. By rehabilitating a previously decommissioned sewer we’ve been able to accomplish in a matter of months, what would have taken significantly longer, had we laid a new pipeline.

“This is a major milestone as we move towards the end of this £8 million scheme to address the issues that local residents have experienced in recent years with recurring bursts.

“We hope customers will bear with us whilst this phase of the project is completed and we apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

The sewer pipe in Bulverhythe has burst several times since 2016, with three incidents alone happening in the last year.

Last October, more than 20 homes suffered flooding due to a sewage leak in the area.

Southern Water said two properties were flooded internally and 22 houses suffered external flooding after the incident happened on October 18.

More than 30 tankers were also sent to the scene as part of a major clean-up operation in the Bulverhythe area.

The incident happened when a sewer burst in a field next to Amsterdam Way. The subsequent flooding affected industrial units in the Bridgeway Industrial Estate.

In a similar incident, a burst sewer affected the Bulverhythe area of St Leonards earlier on October 1 last year, causing a major leak.

More than 40 tankers were sent to the area, together with hydraulic pumps as a clean-up operation got under way on October 1. Tankers also arrived at the Old Bathing Pool site the following day.

A major sewage leak also affected Bulverhythe last February. Almost 20 homes were affected after the leak affected Bulverhythe Road early on February 3. A pavement also collapsed. Engineers from Southern Water then closed off the road and footpaths.