Protest to be held ahead of Southern Water attendance at Thanet council meeting

Southern Water

A protest will be held outside the Thanet council building in Margate tomorrow (March 14) ahead of a meeting where Southern Water representatives will be questioned by councillors.

Westgate and Garlinge Action Group against Housing Development on Farmland will be among those at the demonstration from 6pm.

The council scrutiny meeting begins at 7pm and includes a presentation from Director of Water Operations Tim McMahon.

Councillors previously requested Southern Water attend to discuss residents’ concerns regarding water supply interruptions in parts of the district.

They will be asked what is Southern Water’s long term infrastructure development plan for the district in the light of the multiple water supply interruptions faced by residents, particularly in Broadstairs with power outages at Rumfields Tower, and future housing development.

They will also be asked what is Southern Water’s view about paying compensation to those residents affected by the multiple water supply interruptions between December 2022 and January 2023 following some resident complaints that they were not paid despite being affected while others say they received compensation despite not suffering any supply interruption.

The action group will also present a question at the meeting asking whether Southern Water will be able to deliver a reliable water supply and that sewage spillages into the sea will not increase if development of thousands of proposed homes across the district takes place.

Rumfields Tower

Rumfields water tower Image Nigel Cox

Properties in Broadstairs and surrounding areas were left without water following a significant burst at the Rumfields tower in the early hours of December 19. Water was not restored until around 9pm on December 20 but the £30 payment compensates for more than 12 hours without water but less than 24 hours.

There were a further three interruptions to supply in January due to local power interruptions, which tripped the booster pumps on site and then a mains power failure occurred and  generators also failed due to a faulty starter motor.

Remedial works have been taking place at the water tower to extend its life and improve long-term resilience.

Southern Water is in the final stages of the repair and we’re hopeful the tower will return to service soon. Workers have been cleaning, sterilising, refilling and sampling the water in the tower and ensuring regulatory water quality standards are met prior to bringing the tower back in service.

Electrical maintenance has also been carried out, including mains fail testing and the installation of a new temporary generator, while the permanent generator was completed.

There has also been 24-hour manning of the site, which will remain in place until the tower is back in use.

Southern Water drop in session

Southern Water is also hosting a customer drop-in tomorrow (March 14) at St Andrews Community Hall, Reading Street, from 3pm to 5.30pm.

Staff from different departments will be present to answer queries about the water networks, compensation payments and priority support services.

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  1. Will SW be running a shuttle service from somewhere in Central Thanet to the remote outpost that is Reading Street?

  2. Will SW be reducing our bills this year in compensation for all the issues it has caused for us in Thanet?

  3. The protests should be against a corrupt incompetence of TDC and the government trying to hide there dictatorship leanings in banning freedom of speech in case someone gets offended. Boo hoo.

    • The problems with sewage on the beach and no water in the taps has absolutely nothing to do with TDC.

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