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  • by Karma Loveday

Southern Water consults on Hampshire water recycling plan

Southern Water is consulting until 23 July on its plans to recycle highly treated wastewater for water supply in Hampshire.


To reduce abstraction from the Test and Itchen chalk streams, and to create a rainfall-independent resilient water supply during times of drought, Southern plans to build a new water recycling plant in Havant and pipe the purified recycled water to the Havant Thicket Reservoir that Portsmouth Water is building, where it would mix with spring water. Water from the reservoir would then be pumped along a new pipeline to Southern’s Otterbourne Water Supply Works where it would undergo further treatment to drinking water standard prior to going into supply. The scheme could supply 90 million litres per day.


The consultation seeks views on the project overall as well as pipeline routes; plant and pumping station locations; the process Southern has undertaken to develop the project; and the environmental impacts and proposed mitigations. 


Fish protection group WildFish has said it has written to the Environment Agency warning that it could face a legal challenge if it “does any deals with Southern Water to erase commitments the company made to stop abstracting water from the Rivers Test and Itchen, during drought conditions, beyond 2027.” This refers to a previous agreement made under Section 20 of the Water Resources Act. Deputy chief executive of WildFish, Janina Gray, said: “We’ve written to the Environment Agency to remind them of the input campaigners had in drafting the agreement and that it cannot be changed without consultation. If they simply ignore our communication, then it may be open to legal challenge.”

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