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Clean Harbours Action

The following are notes taken during Clean Harbours Partnership's meeting held Thursday evening Dec. 9th when the following speakers outlined the background to the formation of their Partnership, namely the poor state of our neighbouring harbours, and explained what action they wish to take with the public's help and support. Please visit their website for their information and how to contact them.

Speakers: Mike Owens Hayling Sewage Watch Rob Bailey Lead Water Quality Officer for Harbour Sailing Clubs

Mike Owens: Gave an overview of what’s happening in our harbours

The sea takes: rain & stormwater discharges from Budds Farm; wastewater; pollutants.

Note: any screening just removes solids doesn’t block everything.

A Spill is an uncontrolled illegal discharge & should result in fines.

Langstone has a 2m sewage pipe from Hayling.

Southern Water seems unconvinced re 2021 large scale problems & their response to the televised video of fecal discharge is that the outfall is working as designed. The fecal discharge was noted by the public in mid-Solent opposite Hayling, with pollution there for 4 days & coming up to the beach, but there was only 1 day’s warning for the public.

The Environmental Agency, [editor’s note: Government’s/our regulatory statutory body to regulate & manage our environment, enforcing laws] says discharge does not affect bathing water. Their tests have shown arsenic/copper/zinc in unacceptably high proportions. 2019 latest test water was downgraded to lowest grade. Apparently problems reported by consumers but not systematically showing infected people & environmental damage.

Havant Borough Council stopped testing our harbour water in 2015.

Portsmouth City Council: no record of testing?

[Editor’s note: Chichester District Council & Chichester Conservancy share the costs of Chichester Harbour water testing sent to Porton Down for Sailing Clubs]

More Testing Notes:

Chichester Harbour 2021: 80% of its protected habitats are in unfavourable & declining condition according to Natural England

Brighton University study 2019 found microplastics & 10k fibres in 1 litre of each harbour’s waters; fleeces, chemicals from flame retardants; feminisation (oestrogen pill in WC water) of shrimps; oyster, lobster yields declining.

Budds Farm discharge clings to the north end of Hayling, its Oyster Beds & drugs can be found in the waters there.

Southern Water fined for 7,000 discharges between 2010-2015. What has changed?! Referencing this fine, the Environmental Agency said “the worst environmental crime in 25 year history”.

Note: the state of the sea water is not all Southern Water’s fault. Other main sources of pollution are:

1. Highway run-off 2. Farming 3) Landfill 4) Water users i.e. boats’ WCs & antifouling applied to their hulls.

Pesticides & insecticides are a major problem.

Rob Bailey:Launching/Raising Awareness of the Clean Harbour Partnership


· Collaboration between interest groups

· Single Focus on Pollution in both harbours

· Professional, evidence-based, independent information

· Seeking financial supporters who are independent: so far, amongst others, Hayling Island Sailing Club, Slipper Sailing Club)

· Harbour water quality improvement as consequence of raising awareness of the public & politicians

· Take back control, demand change

What is in the water? If we don’t test, we don’t know. Currently water only tested for E Coli & nitrates.

Seeking therefore to fund £25,000 scientific independent study. £16,000 already pledged.

Study led by Prof. Alex Ford, Portsmouth University to measure for 200 different chemicals:

· Water samples taken on 5 days at 17 different locations

· E DNA to baseline diversity [note-taker’s interpretation is that this identifies how many species are in the water]

Needed from the Public:

· Vocal support & publication “I like what Clean Harbour Partnership is doing because/such as....”

· Show an interest!

· Education the public about what NOT to flush down the loo [Editor: ALL unwanted medical treatments taken for ‘safe disposal’ at local chemist. NO wet wipes. ]

· Raise public awareness> impact on politicians > improvement of water quality

· Independent proof to convince politicians & purse holders

Improvement CAN be made: Sweden & Switzerland quoted as leaders in processing chemicals found in water; England still using Edwardian technology.

Some suggestions to improve: more testing, more storm water retention tanks, improved water treatment for quality & capacity, push back on developments. Create a groundswell in the electorate that the politicians cannot ignore.

VISIT: Clean Harbours Partnership online & SPREAD THE WORD


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