Sarah Dines MP visits Severn Trent's treatment works in Matlock 

18th October 2022

Severn Trent has welcomed Sarah Dines, MP for the Derbyshire Dales, to Matlock sewage treatment works where she was able to learn first-hand how Severn Trent's teams are combating sewer misuse and helping to keep rivers healthy.   

The visit included an end to end walk through of the sewage treatment process and discussion around the steps that Severn Trent is taking to continue to improve the health of the region’s rivers, including its Get River Positive campaign and its River Rangers. The team also provided an overview of the proactive work that they’ve been undertaking to prevent sewer blockages, which can lead to river pollution.   

Sarah Dines, MP for the Derbyshire Dales, commented: “It was a fascinating visit to the Matlock treatment works and have in depth discussions with the team about Severn Trent’s ongoing commitments to improving the quality of our rivers and waterways across the region, including it’s Get River Positive pledges, which were welcoming to hear.   

“Having seen the wastewater treatment process in action, it was shocking to see the amount of wet wipes and other unflushable products that have to be removed by the team at the treatment works and hear about the potential impact these items can have on the environment if they cause a blockage.”   

Gareth Mead from Severn Trent, who hosted the visit, said: “It was a pleasure to host this visit, as opportunities like this play an important part in helping our communities to understand how the network operates. It’s helpful for MPs to see first-hand the kind of pressures that they can be put under due to improper disposal of things like wet wipes, which can cause real issues in the system, as well as the steps we’re taking to make our region’s rivers the healthiest they can be.  

“We always ask our customers to help prevent pipe blockages at home and protect the environment by not flushing wet wipes, or pouring fats, oils or grease down the drain as they can lead to environmental pollution.”  

Gareth, who also heads up Severn Trent’s team of River Rangers, added: “We are always looking at what more we can do to support our communities and to enhance the local environment. Our team of River Rangers are out and about in the community talking to customers, farmers and everyone else who has a role to play when it comes to protecting rivers and the environment on a daily basis.” 

Get River Positive was launched in March 2022 to provide a clear and actionable response to calls for a revival of rivers in England. Severn Trent is moving faster, in some cases 20 years ahead of sector targets, to improve the quality of the region’s rivers.  

The company has committed that its operations will not be the reason for any stretch of river in the whole Severn Trent region to be classified as unhealthy by 2030. According to Environment Agency data, Severn Trent is currently responsible for 18% of reasons for rivers in its region not achieving good ecological status and is confident that by December this year, this will reduce to 15%, with the remaining 85% of reasons attributed to other sectors.  

Find out more about Get River Positive at 

Severn Trent's Get River Positive commitments:

1. Ensure storm overflows and sewage treatment works do not harm rivers 

2. Create more opportunities for everyone to enjoy our regions‘ rivers 

3. Support others to improve and care for rivers 

4. Enhance our rivers and create new habitats so wildlife can thrive 

5. Be open and transparent about our performance and our plans