Our proposals for the next 25 years:
- Service improvement
- Maintaining service
In the years ahead, we still need to invest to build extra capacity into our sewer network but we’ll also find alternative, less costly ways to improve performance. We’ll also play our part to provide a reliable wastewater service by working in partnership with other organisations.
Tackling sewer flooding can be expensive, but by taking an innovative, partnership-led approach, we believe we can deliver marked improvements while avoiding significant increases in customer bills.
Our focus will be on:
Fixing flooding at source
We are convinced of the need to place a greater emphasis on tackling the root causes of flooding, such as reducing the flow of storm water entering the sewer network, to ensure our customers are less likely to be flooded. By re-introducing natural green areas such as ponds and soakaways into the urban environment, we can allow excess storm water to soak naturally back into the ground rather than entering our sewers where it might cause flooding and pollution further downstream.
Working in partnership
By collaborating with other organisations such as local authorities, we can tackle sewer flooding more effectively. Joint working, sharing experience, knowledge and resources all helps to deliver a better outcome for customers and the environment. This is something we will do more of in the future.
We will continue to run information campaigns to encourage customers to avoid flushing inappropriate items such as baby wipes down the loo, or pouring fats and oils down the sink. It is estimated that around a third of sewer blockages are caused by this behaviour, resulting in many flooding and pollution incidents. We will continue to provide inspiring education and engagement programmes to encourage customers of all ages to become more aware of these everyday issues.
Modernising our network to provide a better service
No-one’s home or garden should ever be flooded with sewage but eliminating sewer flooding entirely would be prohibitively expensive. However, we recognise the need to improve on our current level of performance, for the benefit of our customers and the environment. We will roll out a new sewer network monitoring system which will allow us to spot and clear blockages and stop things escalating before flooding occurs.
Building resilience for the future
Population growth and climate change can all place increased pressure on the sewer network. We need to ensure our sewerage system is equipped to cope with a changing and uncertain future in a more sustainable way. Therefore, we will work with local authorities and developers throughout the local planning process to ensure we meet future demand.