4 September 2019

South East Water “Wasteful” say local Councillors

    • Local Councillor, Sean Macleod,  has continued to raise serious leaks throughout the Summer 

    • Cllr Johnny Denis, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Lewes, Criticises lack of speedy action on leaks despite more than 15% increases in profits of £86.4 million 


Burst main in Denton that was left for two weeks 


Local Councillors in the Ouse Valley and Ringmer Ward of Lewes District have had ongoing water issues with South East Water throughout the summer with mains supply being disrupted for several days in some cases. The most recent was a significant leak that lasted two weeks, a total of 8 major leaks in the ward since May.  

Councillors Sean Macleod and Johnny Denis, met with South East Water during the Summer and heard how increases in the hotter weather led to contraction of clay which, in turn, increased stress on the water mains and increased the likelihood of major leaks.  

Councillor Macleod said “ While we live in a day and age when our climate is changing and this impacting on the water system to cope, the present investment in upgrading infrastructure is not enough. In the meantime, major leaks like those left to run do not give us confidence that the wastage is in hand ”

“We have real serious concerns at the huge amount of water waste across the Lewes District, increasingly households are being told to use water sensibly while we continue to see leaks last weeks and weeks and sometimes months, while we are pleased that bills in 2019 will be staying the same in previous years they have risen, no doubt if leaks continue and water waste continues as it does bills will rise again.”

South East Water have confirmed plans to upgrade the older water main in Ringmer for about £1.7million. 

Councillor Johnny Denis, the Green Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Lewes added, “While this investment is a positive move to give us a safe water supply for the coming years but, even though this is a significant investment for South East Water, it is not enough. South East Water made £86.4M in profits last year. They have the capacity to invest much, much more in both upgrading the ageing infrastructure AND detecting and responding to leaks in a timely manner. The public is implored to tackle waste but South East Water’s reputation is at serious risk if it continually lags behind the level of response that people expect”