Pioneering technology to make rivers safe for bathing trialled in Warwickshire - The Leamington Observer

Pioneering technology to make rivers safe for bathing trialled in Warwickshire

Leamington Editorial 26th Sep, 2022   0

THE RIVERS Avon and Leam could become safer places to bathe thanks to a pioneering new disinfecting technology being trialled in Warwickshire, says the region’s water supplier.

Severn Trent is trialling the use of ozone disinfectant across the county in a move that, it says, could help revolutionise the future of wastewater treatment.

In what is believed to be a UK first, ozone treatment will be used to improve the health of rivers in Warwickshire and will hopefully be rolled out to create better bathing rivers across the whole country. The trial is also taking place in Shropshire.

Severn Trent said that despite rivers in the region being ‘the healthiest they have ever been’, the trial of this pioneering technology will further help bolster the company’s commitment to cause no harm to rivers by 2030.




Ozone wastewater disinfection technology works by cleaning waste water before returning it to the river in its most natural state.

It is hoped that the trial will help shape the future of wastewater treatment across the industry, and the UK more broadly, as this technology may also eliminate pharmaceuticals and personal care products found in wastewater.


Severn Trent will be installing ozone treatment at three waste treatment sites in Warwickshire and Ludlow. It will be part of its £78million Bathing Rivers project which involves improving over 50km of river and executing the industry’s largest monitoring programme that will benefit the Rivers Leam, Avon and Teme.

The trial will also reinforce the company’s commitment to Get River Positive by ensuring 90 per cent of people in the Midlands live within an hour’s drive of a bathing water site by 2030.

Wilfred Denga, Severn Trent Bathing Rivers lead, said: “We are committed to restoring and revitalising rivers and are delighted to announce that we are trialling the use of ground-breaking ozone technology. This a huge step forward for the industry – we need to work together to protect communities, wildlife and future generations.

“Innovation is a crucial part of our Green Recovery programme and we are excited about sharing the findings of this trial – the potential impact is vast.”

The company was fined £1.5million for its sewage discharges into waterways in 2021.

That year, Severn Trent allowed 431 sewage dumps in the River Avon and 133 in the River Leam across the constituencies of Rugby and Bulkington, Warwick and Leamington, and Stratford – according to data on the ‘Top of the Poops’ website.

All the private water firms that control the UK’s network were found to have missed targets for tackling pollution or sewage spills last year.

Water UK – which represents the nation’s water suppliers – says only 14 per cent of England’s rivers are rated as being in a good condition.

Visit www.severntrent.co.uk/bathingrivers for more information on Severn Trent’s bathing rivers initiative.

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