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Agenda and draft minutes

Operations and Place Shaping Board
Wednesday, 6th February, 2019 5.00 pm

Venue: Hollybank Room, Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant, Hants PO9 2AX. View directions

Contact: James Harris  Deputy Democratic Services Team Leader

Items
No. Item

35.

Apologies

To receive and record apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Patrick, Shimbart and Thomas.

 

36.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Operations and Place Shaping Board held on 11 December 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2018 were confirmed and signed as an accurate record.

 

37.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

There were no matters arising.

 

38.

Declarations of Interest

To receive and record any declarations of Interests from members present in respect of any of the various matters on the agenda for this meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

39.

Environment Agency Update

 

The Board is conducting a short inquiry into the discharge of sewage effluent into Langstone Harbour.

 

As part of its research the Board has invited a representative from the Environment Agency to this meeting in order to learn more about their role as an environmental regulator and to receive an update on water quality matters in Langstone Harbour.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced Richard O’Callaghan, Area Environment Manager (Environment Agency) who gave a short presentation outlining the EA’s role as an environmental regulator.  A copy of the presentation is appended as Appendix 1 to these minutes.

 

He explained that Southern Water’s performance was in line with the national average with a compliance to Environmental Permit Conditions of 98.2%.  Incidents were categorised in severity between 1-4, with the EA generally attending category 1 and 2 incidents.  The pump failure at Stoke Pumping Station had been a category 2 incident and the electrical failure at Budds Farm had been a category 3. 

 

With regard to bathing water quality, he confirmed that sample testing was only carried out during the bathing season between March and September.  The water quality had been excellent during this period and all points tested met the bathing water quality standard for a Blue Flag accreditation. 

 

In response to questions the Board was advised that the quantity of wastewater discharged could be estimated by the duration and in any investigations the EA would try to quantify the amount of pollutants released and the potential impact upon the environment.  With regard to any infrastructure issues the EA expected water companies to keep them informed in a timely manner.  Residents could also report any issues to the EA directly, which would add to the EA’s evidence base for monitoring performance.

 

With regard to performance, Southern Water would require a reduction in the number of pollution incidents and improved compliance with permits in order to achieve a four star performance rating.  There was no driver for improvements on bathing water standards, however the shellfish beds could be viewed as a driver for improvement due to the frequency of releases exceeding the guidance for shellfish.  This was however different to non-compliance to the permits issued.

 

Infrastructure was discussed and capacity was reviewed by PUSH as part of the infrastructure required for future development.  The EA had concerns about the capacity of Budds Farm, however expansion would require significant investment and there were doubts as to whether there was enough land to do so.

 

Discharges into seawater was not unusual in coastal areas and was necessary in situations such as prolonged heavy rainfall to prevent the sewerage system being overcome and potentially discharging into residents’ homes.  Increased storage or significant infrastructure investment could decrease the number of discharges into Langstone Harbour, however preventing and rectifying incorrect connections to the system and preventing clean surface water from entering it would help.  Local councils had enforcement powers in relation to incorrect connections.

 

In respect of pumping stations, these did not have permits for discharging as in normal operation they should not discharge.  Any discharges from pumping stations were therefore breaches and were investigated by the EA.  A high-risk pumping station would typically have three pumps and the EA would expect that they would also have some form of monitoring.

 

The EA did not expect any water company to pollute and would take action where necessary.  There  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.