New reservoir on cards to keep water running in Eastbourne

Arlington Reservoir SUS-150624-151209001
Arlington Reservoir SUS-150624-151209001

A new second reservoir could be built at Arlington to meet the demand for clean fresh tap water.

The proposal is one of a number suggested by South East Water, which supplies drinking water in the area, and will be going out for consultation in the coming weeks.

Other ideas include a new water treatment works in Kent, developing a water reuse scheme on the River Ouse at Lewes and creating regional water transfer schemes.

A spokesperson said, “We want to hear views on how clean, fresh tap water should be kept flowing for future generations.

“Taking into account changing weather patterns over the next 60 years, coupled with a 53 per cent predicted increase in population within its supply area, the company has published its draft Water Resources Management Plan which puts forward proposals for how those challenges could be overcome.

“Over the next 12 weeks, customers have the chance to view the proposals, submit comments and shape the company’s final plan which will be published later this year.”

In addition, South East Water has pledged to invest in new technology to upgrade its water treatment works, reduce leaks even further and expand its award-winning programme which helps customers control their own water use.

These plans build on the successful initiatives of the previous Water Resources Management Plan, published in 2014, which included the introduction of the customer metering programme and investing more than £7 million a year in leak detection and repair. Over the past five years this investment has resulted in 90 per cent of leaks being fixed within 48 hours, reducing leaks by four per cent over the period.

Longer term, proposals include looking at desalination – where salt water is made drinkable – and further reservoirs across the south east.

Lee Dance at South East Water said, “We are looking far into the future, right to 2080, to make sure we have a secure and resilient water supply for homes and businesses, while also balancing the needs of the environment and keeping customers’ bills down.

“The draft plan represents a £1 billion investment in water supply infrastructure and has been developed with input from customers, communities, other water suppliers and our stakeholders. It takes into account forecasts of future population and housing growth as well as the uncertainty of climate change.

“We’re now keen to hear views on the proposals and really shape our final plan. The more people we hear from the more thoughts and ideas we can incorporate to really ensure that you get the water supply you want in the future.”

As part of its public consultation, customers will be able to speak directly to South East Water and comment on the plans at a series of community exhibitions in those areas where large investment projects are planned.

A public exhibition is being held on March 19 from noon to 8pm at Berwick Village Hall, 7 Station Road, Polegate, BN26 6TD.