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Anglian Water outlines half a billion-pound investment to protect the environment

  • Anglian Water outlines half billion-pound investment to protect the environment
  • An additional £100m boost from shareholders this year will be ploughed into tackling storm spills and preventing pollutions.

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Anglian Water
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After the wettest winter on record for the East of England, Anglian Water has outlined its plans for additional work to protect the environment - in total, an investment of almost half a billion pounds will be spent this year alone.

Today, the water company is announcing that an additional provision from shareholders of £100m will be ploughed into clever technology, more than 100 new roles to create a ‘spills taskforce,’ and improvements to the company’s vast sewer network; all with the single aim of reducing storm spills, preventing pollutions and protecting the environment. This is in addition to its planned investment for its water recycling network, bringing the total this year to almost half a billion pounds.

This funding means that in total, Anglian Water will invest over £1bn into the region this year for the first time. This paves the way for the run rate of investment and delivery of new infrastructure planned for the next five years as part of the company’s proposed £9bn business plan.  Anglian’s plan, which is currently with regulator Ofwat for approval, also includes one of the lowest bills and lowest bill rises in the industry.

Director of Water Recycling for Anglian Water, Emily Timmins, said: “This is an unprecedented amount of money, directly injected into areas we know matter to our customers, and where we are not confident we are making headway with results.

“We know we need to reduce pollutions and storm spills, and we agree no number other than zero will do. As part of our intense focus on driving improvements, we are now starting to see the green shoots of recovery from our work and investments. We have the lowest level of sewer blockages in five years, have had no serious pollutions from our network of sewers in 14 months and are continuing to roll out smart sewers at a rapid pace to ensure we can predict and prevent more incidents event faster.  Our plans will take time, but this boost from our shareholders means we can make even faster progress.”

This funding means that in total, Anglian Water will invest over £1bn into the region this year for the first time

And despite the fact the water company is leading the industry with the lowest level of storm spills, every single one of the 1,471 sites in Anglian Water’s network has a detailed improvement plan that will ultimately mean storm overflows becoming a thing of the past. In the last five years, 10% of the storm overflows in the region have been completely stopped. Currently, the total negative impact Anglian Water has on rivers in the region totals 17% 1, by 2030 the company aims to have reduced this to zero.

Specific examples of how the £100m will be invested, include:

  • £34 million on public sewer cleaning and improvements in the top 100 highest risk areas, targeting thousands of blockages caused by wrongly disposed of fats, oils, greases and other unflushables identified by the installation of 30,000 high-tech monitors with AI to give early warning of problems before they arise 
  • Create more capacity in sewers in 50 hotspot locations across the region and an increase in storm water storage at water recycling centres so they can deal with more rainfall during extreme weather
  • £5.5 million on investigating and removing excess groundwater from our systems in places like Grimston and Yaxley that have suffered sewerage problems related to the severe wet weather
  • £13 million on improvements to water recycling centres including Peterborough, Ingoldmells and Whitlingham.
  • New sustainable drainage systems in key hotspot areas, like Southend will slow surface water from entering the sewer network helping to prevent flooding and reduce storm spills

Emily added: “We’ve heard loud and clear from our customers, communities, passionate river groups and our regulators that we need to take action faster to address storm overflows and improve our pollution record. As our climate continues to change, as we saw last winter, we can expect more extremes of weather meaning the challenge we’re facing, in this region especially, is going to get even bigger.

“We want our customers to know that we’re investing in the right solutions which are proving successful and will have the most benefit for the environment now and in the future.”

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