Help South West Water find the 'needles in the haystack'
South West Water is appealing to the public for help with a task that has been likened to trying to find needles in a haystack.
The company needs to locate all the private sewage pumping stations in the region that serve two or more properties or are located outside the property boundary.
These will gradually transfer to the ownership of South West Water by October 2016, just as the Government transferred most private sewers to the ownership of water and sewerage companies last October.
By identifying the region's private pumping stations now, South West Water can survey and upgrade them over the next four years, ready for transfer.
Anyone who owns or manages a private pumping station - or knows someone who does - is asked to complete the online form at www.southwestwater.co.uk/privatepumpingstations.
South West Water's Head of Waste Water Services, Richard Gilpin, said: "We estimate that in our region there are about 900 private pumping stations which will transfer to our ownership by October 2016. To date, we know of 315, so we are still looking for about 600.
"Private pumping stations can be found anywhere from small housing developments, to remote farms and small business parks so it is a bit like looking for needles in a haystack! Sometimes they look like a definite piece of equipment but others are hidden under manhole covers.
"We wrote to all our customers back in July 2011 and some have already registered their pumping stations, as have local councils and developers. We would urge anyone responsible for a private pumping station to complete our online form so we can get the ball rolling ready for 2016."
Until October 2016, the owner or owners will continue to be responsible for the maintenance and repair of private pumping stations.
Notes to editors
- The Government transferred most private sewers to the ownership of water and sewerage companies on 1 October 2011
- Some properties (such as those on small housing developments, remote farms and small business parks) are connected to a private pumping station before they connect into South West Water's sewer network
- Private sewage pumping stations were not included in the transfer but it is proposed that those which serve two or more properties or are located outside the boundary will transfer to South West Water by October 2016
- The special section of South West Water's website, www.southwestwater.co.uk/privatesewers, features a video outlining current and future responsibilities for private pumping stations
- In 2014 South West Water will submit its business plan for the years ahead to the UK water industry regulator Ofwat. We are inviting customers to find out more and tell us what they think our priorities should be at www.southwestwater.co.uk/waterfuture
Published: 23 August 2012
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