RIVERS in Warwickshire are set to become healthier following a multi-million pound boost.
Severn Trent has been given the green light by Defra, Ofwat and the Environment Agency to accelerate the delivery of key environmental projects.
The company is looking to bring forward an investment of £95millon on projects originally due to start in 2025 that aim to tackle challenges including river health by installing enhanced monitoring at 80 sewage treatment works in its region.
It follows hot on the heels of criticism from Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western after data showed the number of hours sewage was released into local waterways had doubled to 1,350.
Severn Trent, which provides water services locally, was found to have allowed nearly 60,000 separate monitored spills of raw sewage into the region’s waters in 2021, which lasted for a total of over 450,000 hours – equivalent to more than 50 years.
Last year Severn Trent announced its Get River Positive commitments – a set of pledges aimed at improving river health by investing around £100m annually.
Other key projects being brought forward include looking to help increase reservoir capacity to provide more water resilience across the region and the rollout of an additional 250,000 smart meters to help customers reduce demand and tackle leakage.
Liv Garfield, Severn Trent CEO said: “The accelerated initiative agreed by Defra, Ofwat and Environment Agency is one we welcome, and allows us to progress with an additional £95m worth of investment to go even further in tackling topics we know are important not only to us, but our customers too.
“With challenges the industry is facing such as drought, it’s vital we can start sooner rather than later and not wait until the start of the next five year cycle in 2025 to get ahead. While we’re already making huge investments when it comes to the environment and river health, we’re absolutely always committed to doing more, as proven by our ambitious Green Recovery programme. And bringing forward investment allows us to do just that, and will see us going even further and faster in delivering our plans.
“Not only will our environment and rivers benefit sooner, but getting ahead allows us to gain valuable insight that can help shape future investment ahead of our next five year investment cycle.”