ENGINEERS are hopeful that wastewater treatment works should be operating as normal today.

Southern Water engineers were working 4m below ground yesterday to replace a sheared bolt at the pumping station in Sea Road, Littlehampton.

The pumping station began malfunctioning in the early hours of Wednesday morning and threatened to cause flooding in the town as wastewater threatened to back-up.

The water company took the decision to release the untreated waste through an outfall 100m out to sea to prevent the flooding and said the flow stopped at about 5pm on Wednesday.

A Southern Water spokesman said: “A team of ten people worked throughout the day on Wednesday setting up a series of temporary pumps to bypass a valve with a sheared bolt at our Sea Road pumping station in Littlehampton.

“This meant the release of wastewater, to prevent flooding of homes and streets, was stopped on Wednesday afternoon.

“The valve, which is 4m underground, is being replaced and the site should return to normal by Friday.”

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “The discharge stopped at 5pm on Wednesday and our officers will continue to carry out water quality monitoring over the next few days.

“Our investigations are still ongoing.”