It is time to address the whole water network

21 Jul 2023
Head and shoulders of Sean Macleod, smiling at the camera, casually dressed with short dark hair.

June 2023

Sean Macleod, LibDem councillor for Newhaven North, has highlighted continued issues with water supply as we experience a heat wave in Sussex lasting many weeks. We have had burst mains that South East water blame on the weather causing lack of supply and increased demand. 
We see leaks that  are left for months on end, to then be told in the summer we are being hit with restrictions due to the lack of rainfall. Today a hosepipe ban has been announced for Kent and Sussex. South East Water admit that they lose 88.7 million litres a day due to leaks. This is a staggering amount of water and it is no wonder that householders get frustrated by the company. Just in February they announced a 10% increase on household bills, while making millions in profit each year.
We have to see drastic improvements from South East Water as their record simply isn't acceptable. In Newhaven on a number of occasions recently we have experienced issues of supply being unable to keep up with demand.
The issue is not just fresh water. Our foul water network (Southern Water’s responsibility) is also failing. Since the beginning of May, there have been 15 hours of water leaks into the coast of Newhaven and Seaford. There has been little rain with just about 40mm reported since the 1st May, so blaming it on extreme weather events isn’t acceptable any more. We need to see real serious change and progress from Southern Water.

Sean Macleod, LibDem councillor for Newhaven North, says, “Our residents pay thousands each year in bills and deserve better from both water companies. It is clear that we cannot trust commercial companies to keep our water supply and disposal safe and clean. We need to take water back into public ownership. Councillor MacCleary and I have spent hours on the phone this week trying to organize bottled water stations. We managed to get one for Denton area but then when most of Newhaven was without water, South East water said they were too busy.

The dumping of sewage by Southern Water has become commonplace, and they regard even massive fines as a business cost, while they continue to pay outsize dividends and bonuses. They don't change and we have a government that doesn't want to do anything. We can't have our freshwater provider becoming just as thoughtless. We need to have a serious discussion about global warming and if the water companies are really prepared”.

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