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Severn Trent to invest £4.4 billion on its storm overflows across the region

  • Severn Trent to invest £4.4 billion on its storm overflows across the region
  • Severn Trent confirms major 25-year investment plan to improve storm overflows.

  • £4.4bn to be invested across its network on a mix of improvements including increasing capacity of storage tanks and designing nature-based solutions.

  • Investment is part of Severn Trent’s Storm Overflow Action Plan to meet government and industry targets, helping rivers be the healthiest they can be.

About the entity

Severn Trent
We were founded in 1974 as a regional, state-owned water authority based in the Midlands and responsible for water supply management, and waste water treatment and disposal.

Themes

Severn Trent has announced it will invest over £4.4 billion on its storm overflows to help improve river health across its region.  

The Midlands-based water company will make the investment over a 25-year period up to 2050, as part of its plans to reduce spills from storm overflows. Some of this investment forms part of the bigger £12.9b investment programme from 2025 to ensure the security of water supply and will deliver significant improvements in the region’s water and sewerage system.  

A total of 2,472 storm overflows will undergo investment – each with its own individual action plan - with a variety of improvements ranging from increasing the capacity of storage tanks to introducing green nature-based solutions. The company is also investing to ensure rivers are monitored closer than ever before with 100% of its storm overflows with monitors – and the company is now analysing around 300m pieces of data a year helping to prioritise investment. 

The improvements will be split across Severn Trent’s counties and forms part of the water company’s Storm Overflow Action Plan (SOAP).  The plan, which will be regularly updated as improvements are made, will reduce the number of spills into watercourses across the region, ensuring that by 2040 no overflow will spill more than 10 times in an average year in high priority areas, and in all areas by 2045, five years ahead of Government targets.

Severn Trent has announced it will invest over £4.4 billion on its storm overflows to help improve river health across its region

Bob Stear, Severn Trent’s Chief Engineer said: “This is a huge long-term investment plan for our region, improving storm overflows and bringing benefits to rivers over the coming years.

“Today’s announcement marks another significant milestone in our drive to deliver real improvements in river health. This is why we launched Get River Positive that has already delivered great results, despite the region having experienced seven named storms between September and December, contributing to some of the wettest months on record. And we know there is still more to do, which is why this investment is so important – not just to us, but to our region’s rivers and the communities they serve.” 

Severn Trent has been recognised as an industry leader when it comes to environmental performance, achieving the Environment Agency’s highest four-star rating for the fourth year running. And it is confident of securing this for an unprecedented fifth year, continuing to make a positive difference to the environment - whether through delivering bold Get River Positive pledges, improving the biodiversity of 10,000 hectares of land, or launching the world’s first carbon neutral wastewater treatment site in Staffordshire.

Accelerating improvement and investment activities

Severn Trent recently raised £1bn of additional investment from its shareholders to help finance and deliver plans sooner, being able to move and act now to accelerate spend, rather than wait until 2025, when the new investment period starts. More than 70 projects designed to contribute to spills reduction will be completed in 2024/5, worth around £384m including:

  • Creating new storage and combined sewer separation at Hinckley, Leicestershire and increasing storage to halve spill volumes in Carlton, Nottinghamshire 

  • £76m investment in Mansfield installing sustainable drainage to reduce flooding to benefit the whole community

  • A £25million project in Stroud to upgrade the sewer network which will reduce future sewer flooding and also protect rivers in the area. The new CSO site and extra capacity will mean that there will be fewer activations into watercourses, such as the River Frome.

  • A £78m investment to improve the water quality along more than 50km of river in Shropshire and Warwickshire and help move two stretches (on the rivers Teme and Leam) towards bathing quality by 2025

As schemes progress more detail will be shared on what action is planned for every storm overflow in every waterbody.  A live ‘Event Duration Monitor’ map is due to be launched later this year, which will be a great tool for people to see what investment plans are taking place on all storm overflows across the region.

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