Pioneering project for Derbyshire kicks off as Severn Trent tackles impact of climate change in a UK first

Wednesday 7th December 2022

Severn Trent has started work in Derbyshire as part of its £566m Green Recovery programme that will help secure water supplies for the future.

The company is building a new water treatment facility on the same site as its existing Church Wilne water treatment works, as well as using floating wetlands to pre-treat water naturally, in what’s believed to be a UK first.

Up to an extra 89 million litres of drinking water a day, which could fill nearly 40 Olympic sized swimming pools or supply a city the size of Derby, will help to ensure customers have a secure and resilient supply as the UK faces challenges from population growth and climate change.

The project will be turning to nature to help pre-treat the water, something not seen before in the UK, whilst improving the biodiversity of 46 hectares.

The company has launched three floating wetlands across gravel beds at Witches Oak, with a further 27 due to be launched in Spring 2023.

Mat Bingham, Green Recovery Programme Lead at Severn Trent said: “As a country, we’re really facing the impact of climate change and population growth and this year with minimal rainfall and water usage rising, we’re seeing effects of that.  That’s why we’re looking ahead, looking at ways on how we secure our water supply for the future and helping to make sure our customers have water when they need it.

“While we all absolutely still have to save water and treat water like the precious resource it is, this project will help secure supplies within the region for the future – while being carbon friendly and using pioneering water treatment processes.”

Severn Trent say the new treatment facility will help mitigate issues with water scarcity, as the UK faces hotter summers through climate change, along with population growth the project will support the conditions the UK is facing into.

As well as creating a new water supply, the project will use nature-based pre-treatment to build a wetlands to work in harmony with the Church Wilne water treatment works, to a provide a more sustainable carbon friendly treatment, while improving biodiversity.

Mat adds: "This project will not only see more water for our region and helping us in the future, the fact we’re turning to nature to help pre-treat the water will mean we’re doing this in the most sustainable way possible, and could help change how the industry looks to be carbon friendly when it comes to water treatment.”

Severn Trent say the new treatment works, and distribution pipe will be in place and supplying the region by 2025.