Southern Water & Vitacress funded Weed Pull along publicly owned stretches of The Bourne in SMB - August 2016


Weeding out a problem in St Mary Bourne




A workforce of over a dozen people took to the water in St Mary Bourne on Saturday to clear weed from the Bourne Rivulet.




Water levels remain unseasonably high in the north Hampshire village which has long been prone to flooding and the weed had been preventing flows from getting away. Groundwater levels at nearby Vernham Dean Borehole are six metres higher than this time last year.




The workforce, gathered by St Mary Bourne Parish Council, was able to clear the quarter-mile stretch of river from the school end of Gangbridge Lane to GangbridgeBridge, thanks to a joint donation of £3,000 to the Council by Southern Water and Vitacress.




Said Council Chairman David Peart: “We’ve never seen so much weed in the river before. It raises the water level and catches the silt that gets washed down the river, clogging up the system. The village is indebted to Southern Water and Vitacress for their contributions towards the cost of this vital work. I would also like to thank Southern Water for their continued support and effort during the last few months to alleviate the ground water infiltration problems that the village has been experiencing.”      




Said Simon Parker, Head of Wastewater Services at Southern Water: “It is not our responsibility, or indeed Vitacress’s, to clear weed from the river but it’s critical that the flows should be encouraged to exit the village as quickly as possible. We’re delighted to be working with Vitacress to demonstrate our support for the village by sponsoring this work.”




Southern Water has invested more than £1 million in surveying and sealing its sewer system in the village during the past three years to help restrict the amount of groundwater infiltrating the sewers. This year alone the company has conducted repairs which should prevent 14 litres a second pouring into the sewer network, much of it via customers’ private drains which are not the responsibility of the water company. It has also installed a larger pump to increase the capacity of the local wastewater pumping station.




Chris Hall, the Managing Director of Vitacress Salads which is located in the BourneValley, said: “Vitacress welcomes the opportunity to work together with the parish council and Southern Water to help address some of the ongoing water issues in the village. Residents and businesses have been affected alike, and it’s great to come together to help improve the situation.”











Our pictures show a huge amount ofweed being cleared, allowing the Bourne Rivulet to flow freely. The weed is stacked temporarily on the riverbank in Gangbridge Lane so that insects and other river life can crawl back to the water before it is cleared away. Also shown is the faster-flowing river downstream after completion of the work.


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