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  • by Karma Loveday

Wessex Water sets out plans for £3m-a-month storm overflow upgrade

Wessex Water has published a Storm Overflows Improvement Plan, which will see £150m invested between 2022 and 2025 to reduce sewage spills. The plan conveys Wessex’s intentions for the three years to 2025; its longer term plan will be contained in its forthcoming Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan.


The company is targeting a 25% reduction in the number of hours storm overflows discharge by 2025, including through:


• increasing treatment capacity at 14 water recycling centres;

• constructing 32 new storm tanks at water recycling centres and at overflows on the network;

• separating rainwater upstream of two overflows to reduce the number of times they operate; and

• constructing nature based solutions at 28 rural storm overflows where groundwater infiltration is the primary cause of operation.


In addition, every overflow will be monitored by 2023 and there will be continuing investment in AI monitoring at wild swimming sites, following the testing of a new app for bathers at Warleigh Weir.


Director of asset strategy and compliance, Matt Wheeldon, said: “We have 1,300 overflows across the Wessex Water region, so it will take time and significant resources to eliminate them. By committing to spend £3 million every month on overflows, starting with those that discharge most frequently and those that have any environmental impact, we will make a good start.”

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