Woolston Wastewater Treatment Works

from Georgie Webb, Friends of Weston Shore

Thanks to the help of Cllr Alex Houghton, three Friends of Weston Shore were able to join a group visit of the site on 24 June 2018.

This is a very short account of our visit, details can be found on the excellent Southern Water Site at “Woolston Wastewater Treatment Works” from which I am quoting.

We were welcomed by Ruth Thompsett (Engineer, Stakeholder and Community Relations Manager) who took us through the Health and Safety procedures and the work schedule with the help of the site map. Work started in 2014 and the construction process is expected to take 4 years to complete.

4Delivery (4D) a consortium comprising Veolia Water, Costain and MWH is carrying out the work on behalf of Southern Water.

After donning hard hats and goggles we followed Ruth, Mike Homer (Construction Manager) and Andy Soulsby (Field Performance Manager for Southern Water) through the site. The first thing to notice is the smell, referred to as “the odour” which has increased in the very hot weather; the second is the restricted size of the site, how tidy it is kept and the efforts of the constructors to protect residents from excessive noise. The scheme is progressing well, in January 2018 wastewater passed through the new equipment, a beautiful spotless stainless steel structure which will be covered over to contain/reduce the odour. Andy Soulsby proudly explained the process and showed us the result: clear water which is going into the river without ill effect to the environment.

Here I would like to urge all of us to stop throwing in the toilet anything but the three Ps: pee-poo-toilet paper. Not the dreaded wipes which together with FOG (Fats-Oils-Grease) in the sink cause so many problems to the sewer system.

We finished the tour by attending a meeting of the Woolston Community Liaison Group chaired by Cllr Warwick Payne and again I was impressed by the care shown by 4D and Southern Water. Ruth, Mike, Andy and the staff on the site came over as enthusiastic and proud professionals and we are lucky to have such a team to lead a very important development for the health of our community and environment.

There will be an Open Day in 2019 and I shall certainly attend.

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