Watling Hope help Environment Agency protect area of special scientific interest in East Sussex

The Harbourmaster's Office & Cottages


Wastewater pumping and treatment experts Watling Hope have installed a packaged wastewater treatment plant for The Environment Agency.

The Harbourmaster's Office & Cottages are owned and operated by The Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency look after many properties around the UK particularly near canals and rivers.

They are also the agency in England and Wales which monitor and enforce sewage treatment plant performance*.

The Harbourmasters building and adjacent cottages are situated at the side of the River Rother in East Sussex just outside the town of Rye.

This part of the river has been designated a ‘Site of Specific Scientific Interest’ or SSSI which means it has been deemed one of the country's very best wildlife and/or geological sites.

SSSIs include some of the most spectacular and beautiful habitats: wetlands teeming with wading birds, winding chalk rivers, flower-rich meadows, windswept shingle beaches and remote upland peat bogs.

For historic reasons wastewater from the Harbourmaster’s office and the two 3 bedroom cottages discharged into two septic tanks located onsite which in-turn led to a soak-away.

The septic tanks had been installed some decades previous and the site’s owners The Environment Agency were keen to ensure absolute protection of the surrounding environment.

The Environment Agency contacted Watling Hope for a solution. Following site assessment Watling Hope submitted a proposal to The Environment Agency to install a packaged sewage treatment plant sized to the flow-levels of the site.

The exact specification was the WPL Diamond DMS4 (15pe) sewage treatment plant with a discharge to a new soakaway.  The treatment plant was to incorporate an integral final effluent pump which would discharge to a new soakaway on slightly higher ground thus preventing the backing up of the drains in the event of high water in the harbour.

Watling Hope received instruction from the Environment agency and conducted works over a 7 day period.

The works were successfully undertaken on time and on budget by Watling Hope.

The risk of potentially polluting the SSSI site has now been allayed with a solution that protects the environment and overcomes the problems associated with exceptionally high tides.

For further details and photos please visit the case study-section of the Watling Hope website  via


*Should a person or person operate a sewage treatment plant which fails to meet the required performance then it is the Environment Agency which can prosecute the offender or issue a fine of up to £20,000.00


Safe Contractor British Water

Request a call back in

Enter your name and number and a consultant will call you back.