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  • Sewerage network

    We treat 480 million litres of sewage from 2.8 million customers every day.

    We have:

    • 34,700 kilometres (21,600 miles) of sewers
    • 409 sewage treatment works
    • 1,660 sewage pumping stations.

    Wessex Water region 660

    Sewage flooding 

    Sewage flooding is rare but when it does occur it can be devastating so tackling it remains a key objective.

    The number of flooding incidents caused by blockages in public sewers fell further in 2016-17, down to 1.20 incidents per 10,000 properties compared to our target of 1.72.

    This was the result of:

    • our campaigns highlighting the problems caused by flushing wet wipes down toilets and pouring fat down sinks
    • optimising operational maintenance
    • the generally dry weather conditions in the region last year.

    Members of the public are being misled by advertising and labelling related to certain wet wipes and other products branded as 'flushable'. Following our complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, it decided that this issue did not sit within its area of enforcement, but the action was successful in raising public awareness.

    In 2015 we introduced a new and innovative measure of overall flood risk due to inadequate capacity which could potentially cause internal or external flooding.

    Last year (2016-17) we invested £9m to reduce this risk at 99 locations, but have narrowly missed the target. We expect to complete a large project at Brent Knoll in the first half of 2017-18 which will put us on course to meet the target.

    The responsibility for flooding is often complex and we work with local authorities as they produce surface water management plans and strategies to review flood management. We were consulted more than ever before, attending more than 100 liaison meetings. Together with Wiltshire Council and the Environment Agency we are trialling a shared resource to review planning applications in Wiltshire.

    We have contributed a further £50,000 towards the partnership scheme to reduce flooding at Cannington in Somerset and £25,000 towards a sustainable partnership in Southmead, Bristol.

    Infiltration reduction plans

    On the sewer network our infiltration reduction plans continue to reduce the risk of groundwater entering public and private sewers and drains.

    We proactively inspected more than 90km of sewers in 2016-17 and permanently sealed 5.2km of sewers.

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