Built in 1987 the Town Council owned jetty at the Front Brents was in real need of major repair and refurbishment having had little or no maintenance in recent years. It was condemned as too dangerous to use last year.
The not-for-profit Faversham Creek Navigation Company has undertaken the work and is expecting to have it fully ready for use by the end of August. At about 70m long it will provide visitor moorings and long-term berths for local boat owners with suitably seaworthy craft.
It is hoped that it will help revitalise the Creek and encourage visiting seafarers from far and wide to visit our town.
In a previous edition, Faversham Eye 5 we reported on the serious and ongoing problem of Southern Water discharging raw sewage directly into the Creek from the five Combined Sewage Overflows (CSOs) that lie between the Sewage Works and the basin. These operate during and after periods of heavy rain when the surface water drains and ancient sewers are overwhelmed.
Southern Water has no published plans to increase capacity at the sewage works or upgrade the sewers at present and only a somewhat nebulous ‘aim’ of eradicating the use of CSOs by 2040. This, together with the massively increased demand on the infrastructure caused by the glut of new housing in and around Faversham means that the frequency and volume of these discharges will only get worse.
Recently, after heavy rain, the creek at the lower end of Iron Wharf was particularly badly polluted and the smell was stifling for over 24 hours.
We have repeatedly asked Southern Water for an update on the number of discharges from the five CSOs over the past two years but have been met with no response.
Perhaps this is a job for the Town Council who may have more success and who could - with the help of Swale - lean on the water authority to take action now, not possibly after another twenty years.
Last year, Southern Water reported 3,219 incidents of raw sewage discharge into rivers for a total period of 19,978 hours. Recent scientific research has also raised concerns that Covid-19 can be carried into rivers via sewage discharges.
Also, a recent study revealed that the quantity of E. coli coming out of CSOs was between 1000 and 10,000 times higher than that coming from treated sewage from treatment plants.
Privatised water companies have paid out more than £57 Billion to shareholders in the past 30 years whilst skimping on capital investment and building up vast debts. Southern Water has run up a debt of £2.1 Billion since 1991. Who says privatisation doesn’t work?
Over the past couple of weeks, the wreck of the “pirate boat” has been largely removed from Faversham Creek.
It was irresponsibly ejected from Standard Quay over two years ago while in a completely unseaworthy condition and subsequently sank a quarter of a mile downstream at the Sewer Works.
With its steel superstructure, it was a danger to passing larger vessels and had slipped slowly towards the gutway of the creek.
The Whitstable based ‘Liftmoor’ was commissioned by Medway Ports to complete the job and managed it with the minimum of disruption to other craft.
Peel Ports, the owners of Medway Ports, usually show little interest in our Creek but have a statutory duty to maintain the waterway “in a commodious condition”. However, we thank them for undertaking a relatively expensive operation.