SOUTHERN Water has said it has spent £251m in four years on major waste and water improvement projects on its Hampshire networks.

The water company, which has been at the receiving end of protests for its alleged pumping of untreated sewage water into River Test in recent months, said it has allocated a further £179m for spending in Hampshire by this time next year.

It said the 2024-25 financial year marks the final stretch for both water companies’ current five-year spending period, and its own Turnaround Plan – designed to deliver fast-tracked performance improvements across the board.

READ MORE: River Test 'dangerously high' with ammonia and phosphate, say riverkeepers

A Southern Water spokesperson said: “In Hampshire, we have spent £251 million in four years on major waste and water improvement projects – including £97 million so far on our Water for Life Hampshire scheme which through initiatives like building the UK’s first major reservoir since the 1980s will secure a stable water supply in the county for generations to come - and have allocated a further £179 million for spending by this time next year.  

 “That would take overall spend in the county to £430 million in just five years. Meanwhile, across the region, that five-year figure is likely to surpass £1.5 billion. 

“This spending accounts only for planned construction projects relating to our water and wastewater infrastructure. It does not include regular reactive projects and workstreams, the £45 million innovative approaches of our Clean Rivers and Seas Task Force to cutting storm overflows, or the money we are spending above and beyond what we agreed with regulators before 2020 to drive forward our Turnaround Plan, particularly in combatting pollution and flooding incidents.”  

SEE ALSO: Councillor questions state of entrance road in Picket Twenty

John Penicud, Southern Water’s director for wastewater operations, said: “As we enter an absolutely crucial year for Southern Water and the wider water industry, it is right that we are open with our customers about what we are spending on improving our performance and where the money is going. 

“Contrary to some claims aired in the media and among the public, I’d like to reassure you that we are spending our billpayers’ and our shareholders’ money in an ambitious, targeted, and evidence-based way to fix the issues we know we face.

"These figures on planned infrastructure projects demonstrate that very clearly, and we will keep pushing ahead to achieve the results everyone wants to see.”