Action offered ‘car washing’ to Southern Water employees outside HQ.

Campaigners from clean and safe water ngo Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) have
defied a ‘hose pipe ban’ outside Southern Water’s head office in Worthing,
by offering employees of the water starved company a car wash with treated
sewage wastewater.

The action called on the water company to make more use of reusing
adequately treated sewage wastewater to offset its water shortages. In
particular, SAS are annoyed that plans to build a new sewage treatment works
in Brighton and Hove will continue to waste 95 million litres of wastewater
each day by discharging it to sea, when it could be reused.

The main constituent of sewage is water. With proper treatment, water can be
reclaimed from sewage by removing contaminants such as suspended solids,
nutrients and pathogens. With the highest levels of treatment this water can
be made potable, but with less treatment, it can also be made safe enough to
use for a variety of non-potable applications.

Possible applications include: Agricultural irrigation (crops, commercial
nurseries), landscape irrigation (golf courses, parks), water for industrial
use (cooling or process water), groundwater recharge and environmental uses
(stream augmentation, marsh enhancement). Also washing cars!

By directing reclaimed water to these sources, raw water (i.e. the stuff in
the reservoir) is saved. In an area that is currently suffering from water
restrictions like Southern Water, treating sewage for use in water recycling
schemes would allow a limited water supply to be stretched much further. By
fully treating sewage you are also improving the quality of coastal water
making it more attractive and less harmful for those involved in watersports
like surfing and windsurfing.

Richard Hardy, SAS Campaigns Director said: “Southern Water is encouraging
its customers to conserve water yet it is making its own plans to waste it
with the Brighton and Hove proposal. By incorporating an extra level of
treatment on the Brighton and Hove sewage works plans there is huge
potential to save water, to be a more sustainable company, improve water
quality in local recreational waters and give customers value for money. It
would also ease reduce the likelihood of drought orders and
hosepipe/sprinkler bans being enforced in future”.


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