We're working with farmers and landowners to stop soils, fertiliser and pesticides washing from fields into rivers and groundwater resources.

This is because removing these substances at the water treatment works is expensive, so prevention is best.

It also means farmers and landowners benefit by losing less of these substances to waste – saving money and time.

There are simple things farmers and landowners can do to minimise wash off into rivers. Just calibrating machines correctly, for example, or collecting rainwater, can make a lot of difference.

We can help with these practical solutions. We offer a free farm visit from an independent specialist adviser who can look for solutions and farmers may be eligible for a grant.

How you can get involved

If you farm within one of our priority areas you could qualify for the following:

  • Free one to one confidential on farm advice
  • Free report with recommendations tailored towards your farm business
  • Free workshops and events providing up to date guidance and advice
  • Soil and nutrient planning (including free standard soil sampling)
  • Calibration of fertiliser applicators, slug pelletors and sprayers
  • A capital grant scheme to help farmers and land managers tackle agricultural diffuse pollution

To talk to us about how you can get involved, or register for a free farm visit, please email catchment@southeastwater.co.uk.

Our future plans for catchment management

From 2020, our environmental strategy within the business plan will see us build greater resilience into our surface water and groundwater catchments by continuing this, our industry leading and award winning catchment management programme.

Our experience has shown that working together with landowners really benefits the environment and it’s a win-win as we protect the quality and resilience of our water resources.

We have set ourselves a challenging target to engage with 42 per cent of landowners in priority/at risk areas between 2020 and 2025 - a much larger scale to what we currently do.

Our initial focus will be on arable land within groundwater and surface water catchments however we will look to engage with livestock, dairy, horticulture, amenity and equestrian sectors in order to protect drinking water sources.

To deliver this, we will:

  • Build upon current partnerships with universities, water companies and Catchment Sensitive Farming
  • form new partnerships by identifying key new stakeholders who are actively working in our catchments
  • Work with emerging agricultural technologies, research institutes and other experts to find new solutions and approaches to raw water deterioration.

 Specifically, we hope that land managers we contact will take up one of the following measures:

  • Farm site audit, water efficiency or advice package
  • take up of biodiversity package
  • training package (for example pesticide training)
  • pesticide machinery calibration test
  • workshops and events
  • involvement in crop trials/land management trials to improve water quantity or quality
  • capital grants to improve farm infrastructure
  • payments for Ecosystem Services
  • other engagement measures developed within the planning period and agreed with the Environment Agency.

 We propose to deliver our enhanced catchment management programme at no additional cost to the customer. If you are interested in our plans please email catchment@southeastwater.co.uk.

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