Taking Action

for Communities and Environment

Stop Sewage releases by Southern Water – Motion to IW Full Council on 17th January 2024 – Press Release

Stop Sewage releases by Southern Water – Motion to IW Full Council on 17th January 2024.

Local campaign calls for action against Isle of Wight’s sewage discharges (onthewight.com)

Cllrs Michael Lilley and Sarah Redrup (Liberal Democrats) have been working over the past year with Chani Courtney of Surfers against Sewage. SAS held a Paddle Out/Sick of Sewage demonstration on Appley Beach (in Michael’s ward) in May 2023 and Chani and Michael have worked together in a media campaign which gained worldwide coverage of the issue. Alongside this publicity, Chani and Michael have been working with Southern Water on the concept of local water charters and a pilot for Ryde.  Since Sarah was elected in August 2023, she has joined the group. The motion to be presented at Isle of Wight Council Full Council meeting on Wednesday 17th January 2024 is a joint effort and is evidence based. The aim is to start 2024, with highlighting the issue, stimulate a debate and get cross-party/councillor support to prioritise the total reduction of sewage pollution in the sea surrounding the Island once and for all.

Chani Courtney (Volunteer regional rep for Surfers against Sewage and Ryde resident) says:

The Isle of Wight in March 2022 to March 2023 was responsible for 40% of the combined sewage overflow duration into the Solent. Highlighting this practice is unacceptable through dedicated campaigning has had results.  CEO of Southern Water and the chief finance officer gave up their bonus last May and Southern Water since 2017 has not paid dividends ” 

My opinion is that change is here, solutions are being tested and proven effective and we need wider installation of these. We need to work as the outstanding community the Isle of Wight is at all levels and the council has a crucial role to play in this.”

We need to ensure local communities and economies are centred around healthy blue spaces and people from cities to the coast are proud of their local natural blue spaces. Solutions need to be from sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) and constructed wetlands at a local level, to landscape scale restoration projects, nature has huge potential to relieve the pressure on sewerage systems and prevent the use of overflows. When used in the right place and cared for effectively, they can be the most cost effective option with the co-benefits of trapping carbon, improving biodiversity and reducing flood risk

Cllr Sarah Redrup (Wootton Bridge) says:

“Given recent flooding events and shocking stories of flood victims having sewage flowing into their homes, it is clear to me that we need to be doing more to ensure our Island and our waters are cared for. We are calling on the Council to keep flooding, sewage and drainage at the forefront of all planning and development decisions. With practical steps like sustainable urban drainage projects, we can make a real difference. Together, I hope all councillors will get behind a shared goal of making 2030 the year we finally have zero sewage releases in our waters.” 

Cllr Michael Lilley (Ryde Appley and Elmfield) says:

My ward is the home to one of the largest sewage pumping station on Island which is underneath Appley Park alongside Appley and Ryde beaches. The simple fact in Ryde is that the south of the town is higher than the north which faces the Solent; when it rains heavily all the surface water goes down the hill at fast speed and comes off all the roofs and into the single drainage system which includes sewage. This overflows and sewage saturated water is released into the Solent. IW Council needs to debate the reality of Southern Water’s continuing action and take a real lead in finding an agreed Island-wide solution.”

Michael launched a petition in December 2024 – Petition · Save Isle of Wight from Environmental Realities of Climate Change! · Change.org

Motion to IW Council by Cllr Michael Lilley (Lib Dem):

“IW council resolves to acknowledge that the volume of sewage ending up in our waters is unacceptable. From March 2022 to March 2023 there were 16787 hours when sewage was discharged into our waters. In October to November 2023 there was a single duration event of raw sewage release lasting 681 hours at Sandown.

IW council resolves to ensure that any solutions or programs put forward to help solve sewage pollution are adopted and installed without unnecessary barriers.

IW council resolves to work with all interested parties and organisations to implement sustainable urban drainage at every opportunity. For horizontal integration of sustainable urban drainage to be placed in all ongoing development across the Isle of Wight.

IW Council resolves to work with all stakeholders ensuring that sewage releases into the sea surrounding the Isle of Wight are zero by 2030.”


SAS Water Quality report  Water Quality Report (2023) – Surfers Against Sewage (sas.org.uk)

The Safer Seas & Rivers Service – Surfers Against Sewage (sas.org.uk)

How England and Wales’ protected habitats have been hit by sewage spills – Unearthed (greenpeace.org)

Untreated sewage continues to spill into the Solent – Solent Protection Society


taskforce_november_update.pdf (southernwater.co.uk)

Sustainable drainage and looking at a whole water catchment with outcome-based goals can and will lead to a reduction in pollution. It is requested as a nature based solution in the Environment Bill, Flood Water Management Act, Storm overflow reduction plan and  host of other legislation see Policy documents (susdrain.org) . It has the capacity to hold back water to prevent the overloading of the combined sewage network. Sustainable drainage also has additional benefits to meet your biodiversity, wildflower and tree planting targets, help prevent flooding and re green urban areas.

Below poster of demonstration on Appley Beach in May 2023. https://www.sas.org.uk/

Related Posts

“Crisis” Election – 50 years on!

“Crisis” Election – 50 years on!

There will be a UK General Election in 2024, and it is predicted this could be in the Spring or October. 50 years ago, in 1974, I was a pupil at Bembridge School ( see below) and there were two elections in February and October of that year. The first election was...

read more
Carriageway Reconstruction Works in ALEXANDRA ROAD, RYDE

Carriageway Reconstruction Works in ALEXANDRA ROAD, RYDE

Dear Resident/Occupier Carriageway Reconstruction Works in ALEXANDRA ROAD, RYDE We are writing to let you know about the carriageway improvement works due to take place in your local area shortly, and to provide you with some information and guidance in relation to...

read more

Subscribe to emails

from Michael


Please confirm you wish to subscribe

Privacy and Data Protection

Thank you for connecting with Michael.