WORK to radically overhaul a pumping station, blamed by some for causing flooding in Littlehampton, has been welcomed by a campaigners.
Southern Water is investing £300,000 into improving the foreshore pumping station, which it’s hoped will reduce the risk of flooding across the town, particularly in South Terrace and Pier Road.
Arun district councillor for Beach ward, Dr James Walsh, said he welcomed the news but claimed the work, which started on Tuesday (September 3), was ‘well overdue’.
Dr Walsh said: “I’m delighted the work has started. But it’s been long overdue.
“The issue was identified first about ten years ago. There was a flooding problem at the site with a stormwater and sewage drain overflowing.
“The preliminary results at that stage indicated it was some failure with the pumps.”
He added: “This work by Southern Water is going to be welcomed by the residents and wider townsfolk because it should do a lot to alleviate the problems.”
The station, which pumps excess flows of storm water out to sea during heavy rain, is located behind the coastguard building on Littlehampton seafront.
Since last year’s floods in June, Southern Water has worked closely with West Sussex County Council to help make the sewer network more resilient.
The floods in Littlehampton were caused by one months’ rain falling in 12 hours. While the sewer network performed as it should, it was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of water entering the system.
To help reduce the risk of that happening again, Southern Water is installing three storm pumps with even higher capacity.
Angela Tester, secretary of the Littlehampton Flood Action Group, said she was concerned about whether or not the new system would be able to cope with extreme rainfall.
“I very much welcome this work but if we’re going to have these extreme weather conditions like last year, will this system really be able to hold up?”
The work, being carried out by Barhale Trant Utilities, should be completed towards the end of December.
Bill Garnham, Southern Water project manager, said: “These improvements in Littlehampton aim to reduce the risk of flooding in Pier Road and South Terrace, which are the lowest parts of the catchment and therefore most prone to floods.
“Earlier this year we installed a new mini pumping station in Pier Road to ensure wastewater flows from the small number of homes affected there can continue to be taken away for treatment during heavy rainfall.”
Normal sewage services will not be affected by the scheme.