Angry council says sewage work is vital

PRESSURE is mounting to upgrade a crucial sewage pumping station in North Bersted.

MP Nick Gibb has been joined by councillors in demanding action from Southern Water to improve the site close to the Royal Oak pub on Chichester Road.

The work is not among the schemes on the company’s capital projects list in spite of councillors being told it would be.

The pumping station was the subject of a recent meeting between Mr Gibb, Bersted Parish Council, Southern Water and others.

Parish council chairman Patrick Hastings told last week’s parish council meeting: “The matter of the pumping station came up and everybody has been seriously misinformed by Southern Water. It was not just us. It was Arun District Council as well.”

Vice-chairman Simon

McDougall said: “I am absolutely stunned the pumping station is not in Southern Water’s capital programme for 2015 onwards.

“We need to put the maximum pressure on Southern Water that we can to get that upgrade carried out.

“Southern Water have just given us a five per cent increase in our water rates.

“They knew about the site six development and the problems we have had in that area for many years.

“They need to stop thinking about their shareholders 
and start thinking about the rest of us for once.”

The parish council’s concerns about the pumping station have been well reported in recent years.

The equipment is now being expected to cope with some 700 extra homes being built on the site six estate of Bersted Park nearby.

The Observer reported last month about the sewge problems faced by Gregory Hall and Deborah Brown 
in their Ashbee Gardens house.

Cllr McDougall said: “We want to get the pumping station up to an acceptable standard so we don’t get the problems we had at Bersted Park at Christmas with sewage backing up in drains, gurgling in toilets and sewage floating around in toilets.”

Southern Water agreed to replace the valves in the pumping station. These had failed to warn the system was becoming overloaded.

New valves are due to have been fitted by this week.

They will send an automatic alarm when a problem occurs rather than a Southern Water employee having to go to the site to raise the alarm.