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Environment Agency and Southern Water answer questions from St Mary Bourne residents
VILLAGERS who have been battling a tide of excrement packed a hall to listen to experts on sewage and water.
St Mary Bourne residents filled their village centre to question representatives from local authorities, the Environment Agency and Southern Water about the long-standing sewage problems.
Issues raised at the meeting on February 26 included the environmental impact of pumping sewage into the Bourne Rivulet and bags of human excreta which have been left around the village.
Tankers have been used since September to remove sewage to provide temporary relief as high ground water caused toilets to stop working and raw sewage to bubble up through manhole covers.
Martin Bank, Southern Water’s network quality performance manager, said the problems were long-standing and apologised for the inconvenience.
He added: “We are all working together and we need all the information we can get from the public as well to allow us to paint as comprehensive a picture as we can.”
The impact of pumping sewage into the Bourne Rivulet was played down by the Environmental Agency, whch also assured residents that St Mary Bourne is a top priority.
Keith Broomfield, from the agency, said: “A lot of groundwater is infiltrating the system and diluting the effluent before pumping into the Bourne, and basically there is no increase in the bacteria levels in the Bourne itself.”
The packed meeting attracted 100 residents who made their feelings known. One resident said: “We want a solution invested in St Mary Bourne once and for all.”