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Sandown Bay

Volume 281: debated on Tuesday 16 July 1996

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what studies the Environment Agency is undertaking of the sub-surface current in Sandown bay. [36845]

All studies relevant to the assessment of continual high natural dispersion area status at Sandown bay are being undertaken by Southern Water Services. These are comprehensive in accordance with national guidelines and include modelling of water movement. The Environment Agency will assess these studies and will not certify that HNDA status can continue unless it is satisfied that the results justify this response.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the difference in the designation of the waters of the Solent and Sandown bay so far as future treatment requirements are concerned. [36821]

Sandown bay is designated as a high natural dispersion area. The directive allows for a minimum of primary treatment for discharges into high natural dispersion areas, subject to comprehensive studies, currently being conducted, demonstrating that primary treated discharges will not adversely affect the environment. If this is not demonstrated by the studies, secondary treatment will be required. The Solent is not designated as a high natural dispersion area. Sewage discharges into the Solent serving a population equivalent of greater than 2,000 would be subject to secondary treatment.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects the four-yearly review of the designation of Sandown bay as a high natural dispersion area to be completed. [36819]

In accordance with the deadline stipulated in the Urban Waste Water Treatment (England and Wales) Regulations 1994, the first four yearly review of the designation of Sandown bay as a high natural dispersion area is proposed to be completed by the end of 1997.