Portsmouth Waters CEO confirms that treated recycled effluent will be supplied to its customers

When asked by Havant Borough Residents Alliance, Bob Taylor, Portsmouth Water’s Chief Executive confirmed that Portsmouth Water customers would receive the treated recycled effluent mixed with spring water in Havant Thicket Reservoir, if Southern Water’s plans for effluent recycling go ahead.

Southern Water propose to pump a minimum of 7.5 million litres of recycled effluent (that’s the equivalent of 3 Olympic size swimming pools) into the Havant Thicket Reservoir every day, even when the water is not needed. The volume could be increased in the future to 60 million litres (24 Olympic size swimming pools) a day at times of drought.

Portsmouth Water Chief Executive replied;

“If the recycling project is approved then the reservoir will have two sources of water – surplus spring water pumped from Havant and Bedhampton springs provided mainly in the winter and the recycled water supply from Budds Farm which in general can be provided at any time. These two water sources will mix in the reservoir and studies are being undertaken currently to understand the impacts of this. That said, they are both high quality water sources. If the recycling project is approved the mixed water will be supplied to two outlets from the reservoir.

One of these, used on a more routine basis, sends water to our Farlington water treatment works for further treatment and supply to PW customers.

The other supply will in times of drought deliver a supply to Southern’s Otterbourne treatment works through a new 45 Km pipeline for further treatment and blending with good quality ground water at that site and onward supply to Southern’s water customers in Hampshire”. 

His response makes it clear that Portsmouth Water customers are likely to receive the recycled water on a routine basis, whereas Southern Water customers will receive more in a drought.

However, to keep the planned pipeline to Otterbourne ‘sweet’ Southern Water will pump a minimum of 3 Olympic size swimming pools of the mixed water from the reservoir to Otterbourne everyday for treatment and supply to their customers.

Even though Southern Water are pressing ahead with their plans, Bob Taylor makes it clear that studies are only now taking place to understand the impact of this plan.