04 NOV 2014

Marden and Staplehurst's sorry sewage systems

Residents prepare carefully for meeting with Southern Water

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald, convened a meeting of residents and local councillors on Friday 31st October, to prepare for the MP's much-anticipated meeting with Southern Water.

Helen and a Parish and Borough Council delegation, including residents, will meet Southern Water's Chief Executive and Director of Infrastructure at Helen's constituency office at Maidstone East Station on November 12, to tackle the sewage problem which has blighted Wealden villages over the last three decades.

The main problems occur when surface water leaks into defective soil drainage systems during periods of high rainfall. This drives excess solid waste toward the pumps that send the sewage to the treatment works causing overload and they then trip out. This results in backflows of raw sewage emerging from manholes into residential gardens and agricultural land.

At the preliminary meeting a clear consensus of opinion on the core issues was clarified and an agreement reached as to the goals the team want to achieve with Southern Water.

Commenting afterwards Helen said:

"In situations such as this preparation is everything and I am delighted to see such a united stance amongst everyone involved. This sewage problem has blighted our Wealden villages for the last three decades. It is simply not acceptable that every time there is a significant downpour, the soil drainage system fails and residents' gardens are flooded with raw sewage.

"Our preliminary meeting allowed us to agree objectives ahead of next week's meeting and ensure we present the best possible case to Southern Water to solve this problem once and for all.

"I look forward to meeting the Chief Executive and Director of Infrastructure of Southern Water at my office to plan a course of action"

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