The Southern Water effluent recycling proposal

Formal consultations closed on Monday, 20 February, however the petition is still open so please click the image below to sign:

Effluent recycling plans

Southern Water have published their draft Water Resources Management Plan which confirms that they have selected the Budds Farm option for effluent recycling via Havant Thicket Reservoir as their preferred solution for meeting future increasing demand for drinking water in Hampshire. Their proposal is to take the final effluent from the Budds Farm Sewage Treatment Works (STW), undertake additional treatment at a new plant to be built at Broadmarsh in Havant, then discharge this recycled water into the Havant Thicket Reservoir to mix with the spring water.

From the reservoir it will be pumped to both Farlington Water Treatment Works, for distribution to Portsmouth Water customers, and via a new pipeline 40km across Hampshire to Otterbourne Water Treatment Works for distribution to Southern Water customers. The reservoir water containing recycled effluent will also flow from the reservoir to the Riders Lane stream, on to the Hermitage Stream and into Langstone Harbour.

If the plan goes ahead, from about 2032 onwards, at least 7.5 million litres of the recycled effluent will be discharged into the reservoir every day of the year, with the volume increasing to 15 million litres a day when they need more water or the reservoir is filling. The consultation confirms that in the future they may increase the volume discharged into the reservoir up to 60 million litres a day.

Note: To give you an idea of what this means; 7.5Ml/d is equivalent to 3 Olympic sized swimming pools, doubled for 15Ml/d and 60 Ml/d equates to 24 Olympic sized swimming pools of recycled water being pumped into the reservoir every day. An Olympic sized pool is 50m x25m x 2m, with a volume of 2500m3.(Ml/d means million litres per day)

Southern Water propose to build the effluent recycling plant at Broadmarsh in Havant on a former landfill site. A new pipeline would be constructed through Bedhampton and Leigh Park to carry the treated water to be stored in the Havant Thicket Reservoir. A new 40km pipeline will be built to carry water from the reservoir to Otterbourne Water Treatment Works for onward supply to Southern Water customers. However, when Portsmouth Water take any water from the reservoir after about 2032 it will be a mix of spring water and recycled effluent, which will be distributed to their customers via the Farlington Water Treatment Works.

For further detail to help you understand the impacts of the Southern Water proposal, or for discussion of some of the Challenges to Southern Water that you might consider relevant when forming your own opinion, please take the menu options in the sidebar of this page or click the links in this paragraph.


The key concerns

Ask yourself if you think the proposal for effluent recycling provides a best value plan for customers or the environment. Things to consider are summarised in the numbered bullets below:

  1. We get plenty of rain to collect & store, why do we need to treat & recycle sewage effluent for drinking water? (Read more)
  2. Southern Water has a very poor track record on pollution incidents and compliance with Regulations. Will you trust them to properly treat the recycled effluent? (Read more)
  3. The water taken from the reservoir will taste different. If you know it contains treated recycled effluent, will you drink the water? If not, what are the impacts for you of buying bottled water and for the environment? (Read more)
  4. It will require a large amount of infrastructure to be built, plus many chemicals and significant amounts of energy to operate daily which we, the customers, will have to pay for in our bills. (Read more)
  5. It will have a very high environmental and carbon impact during construction & operation, the planet will pay the cost. (Read more)
  6. The planned daily discharge of recycled effluent into Havant Thicket Reservoir will have adverse impacts on the reservoir wetland and biodiversity. (Read more)
  7. The impacts on Langstone Harbour have not been fully assessed. (Read more)
  8. There will be no application to the Local Planning Authority for permission for effluent recycling, despite assurances given at the time of the reservoir planning application. (Read more)


If you need any more information – email the campaign team at the address below: