After years of planning, this week, work has begun on Severn Trent’s Birmingham Resilience Project and an official groundbreaking ceremony was help at Lickhill, near Stourport, where the local Mayor, Councillor Henderson was on hand to put the first spade in the ground.
This is all part of Severn Trent’s Birmingham Resilience Project, as Carol Bloor, from Severn Trent, explains: “We need to make sure our customers across the region continue to get a reliable water supply. This project is the biggest engineering challenge we have ever done and we’re investing around £300M. As part of the project, Severn Trent will be building a new water intake and pumping station near Lickhill, and laying a new water pipeline for 25km from there to Frankley in Birmingham. Although the project’s main aim is to make water supplies for Birmingham more resilient, it will have benefits for our customers right across our region, and in Stourport where the project team are based and a lot of work is taking place.”
Councillor Henderson also had a tour of the project compound in Stourport and afterwards said: “I didn't realise just how big this project is and how much work is going into delivering it. I'm amazed by the work and the commitment of the team. I'm really pleased with the way Severn Trent and their contract partner, Barhale, are engaging and working with the people of Stourport to listen and understand the best way to minimise any disruption to our town.”
Carol added: “This week we’ll be holding a drop in session for local people to come and talk to us about the project and our plans. When work begins we’ll do all we can to help reduce any impact of our work and we’d like to ask the local community for their patience until the new pipes are in place.”
Background on Birmingham Resilience Project
For over a century, most of Birmingham’s water has flowed down the Elan Valley Aqueduct (EVA) from reservoirs in the Welsh hills. The aqueduct is over a hundred years old and needs maintenance to keep it in service, which means draining it for extended periods. The Birmingham Resilience Project will provide an alternative source of water during those maintenance periods and will be used for up to 50 days every other year. It will also provide a solution in the event of an emergency scenario such as an unplanned shutdown of the EVA. The water would be transferred via a 25kilometre long pipeline from a new river intake at Lickhill, just north of Stourport, to Frankley Water Treatment Works in Birmingham, which is itself being upgraded to accommodate the new source of water.