Southern Water dumps raw sewage on UK’s south coast
Footage has emerged of untreated sewage spewing into Langstone Harbour in Hampshire for 49 hours. Filmmaker Chris Pearsall captured footage using his drone of Southern Water discharging sewage into Langstone Harbour on 21 October. The waste came from a Southern Water treatment plant in Havant, Hampshire, and continued for 49 hours.
This follows news that UK MPs have voted to allow raw sewage in Britain’s rivers and seas.
The sewage is from a treatment plant run by Southern Water. As reported by the BBC, it is currently unclear whether or not this spill is legal but Southern Water has come under fire before for similar incidents. In 2020, Southern Water pleaded guilty to 51 offences related to polluting the sea with untreated sewage. These offences took place on the coasts of Sussex and Kent, between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2015.
The shellfish caught on the coast of Kent couldn’t meet food quality standards due to faecal contamination. As a result, the Environment Agency investigated Southern Water and the company was then fined £90m for deliberately dumping billions of litres of raw sewage.
The court heard at the time that this was “the worst case brought by the Environment Agency in its history” and that Southern Water had caused “very considerable environmental damage”.
This news comes days before the UK government hosts the UN’s global climate summit, COP26.