Derbyshire’s waterways benefitting from £450m investment

Friday 7th June 2024

Severn Trent’s kicked off an accelerated £450m region-wide programme of investment, where once complete, spills from active storm overflows will reduce by 20% a year - with work in Derbyshire well underway.

The company has committed to going further and faster, to reduce the use of overflows and has embarked on a programme of work to 900 locations to be completed across the Midlands this year.

A series of unique projects in Derbyshire has already been complete, including enhancements at Sudbury Wastewater Treatment Works near Ashbourne, where it can now hold an additional 60 thousand litres of rainwater or the equivalent of two large swimming pools.

The new storage solutions means rain will be captured and stored during times of heavy rain – reducing spills dramatically.

The work is just one example of the work Severn Trent is completing in Derbyshire, to reduce spills from overflows benefitting Derbyshire’s waterways.

Overflows are designed to protect homes and businesses from flooding during heavy rainfall, however Severn Trent know they need to do more to reduce the effect on local rivers.

This accelerated work will carry on long term, and more specifically for Derbyshire over the next 25 years we’re investing £660m alone to improve 416 overflows by 2050 – allowing benefits to be seen quicker.

Luke Curtis, Severn Trent Spills Programme Lead from Severn Trent said: “Our customers want us to go as quickly as possible to reduce spills from overflows, and we’re doing just that. We’re working round the clock, finding new and agile ways of delivering complex schemes quicker, and this project in Ashbourne, is a great example of that.

“Increasing the capacity at our sites allows us to hold more rainwater and lessens the impact on our network – meaning overflows are not used as much– which is exactly what we’re setting out to do. We’re looking to install more storage solutions, make more improvements to our network and deliver more schemes across Derbyshire at pace.”

900 locations will benefit this year alone across the Midlands, with plenty set to come for Derbyshire.

Luke adds: “We know just how important rivers are to everyone and they’re just as important to us. This series of work for Derbyshire is a really exciting step and compliments the existing things we’re doing in the area already as part of our investment programme or storm overflow action plan. Our customers can trust us that we’re delivering what they’re after, and we’re doing it faster than anyone else and we’re looking forward to sharing more details of the work for Derbyshire place soon.”

These accelerated projects build on Severn Trent’s delivery of significant investment in Derbyshire, that includes. 


·         A £20m investment to upgrade Kilburn Sewage Treatment Works to achieve a higher level of treatment and improve the health of the Bottle Brook which feeds into the River Derwent.

·         A £3.9m project to upgrade Whitwell Sewage Treatment Works to achieve a higher level of treatment.


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 four years running. It is confident of securing this for an unprecedented fifth year later in July 2024.