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New online Top of the Poops map shows where and when Southern Water and Wessex Water dump sewage in New Forest

THE New Forest West constituency has moved up a 'Top of the Poops' national league table for sewage dumping rates.

The interactive online map shows Southern Water dumped sewage in New Forest West 177 times in the last year.

Wessex Water also dumped sewage into the constituency's waterways 93 times in the same period.

New Forest West appears twice on the Top of the Poops map
New Forest West appears twice on the Top of the Poops map

Using Environment Agency data, the map compiled by campaigners shows the companies collectively dumped sewage 270 times, for a total of 2,313 hours, at nine sites including Fordingbridge, Ringwood and Lymington.

New Forest West appears twice on the Top of the Poops map because it is served by both Wessex Water and Southern Water.

Out of 597 parliamentary constituency listings, New Forest West appears in position 356 for the areas covered by Southern Water.

The areas covered by Wessex Water appear at number 423, more than 100 points lower in the "dirty water" rankings than Southern Water's.

The map also shows Southern Water dumped sewage in New Forest East 373 times at 18 sites in the last year and dumped sewage in Christchurch 75 times at nine sites in the same period.

Southern Water has said that more than a quarter of the nation's sewer networks are combined sewers, meaning foul water from homes and rainwater run-off mix before being ejected through a storm overflow or treated at a plant.

A spokesperson for Southern Water said: "This online map refers to storm water releases made to protect homes, schools and hospitals from flooding.

"We are permitted to do this by the Environment Agency but we recognise reliance on the system is no longer acceptable to customers.

"We want to go further and faster than the government and our regulators to protect the environment and our storm water task force is pioneering a partnership approach combing Southern Water engineering with nature based solutions to keep rainwater out of our sewage system and drastically reduce reliance on the storm release system.

"The use of storm overflows is always a last resort.”

A spokesperson for Wessex Water said: “We’re investing £3m every month on storm overflow improvements, starting with those that discharge most frequently or have any environmental impact.

“We’re the first UK water company to provide overflow discharge alerts 365 days a year and more than 80% of overflows in our region have monitors installed, rising to 100% by the end of 2023.”

Visit top-of-the-poops.org

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