Severn Trent in detention at Mansfield school as flood alleviation project progresses 

Thursday 14 December 2023

Severn Trent is facing a ‘permanent detention’ at Samworth Church Academy in Mansfield as the company continues its £76 million flood alleviation project in the town.

The water and waste company has completed work on a detention basin on the grounds of the school, as part of a project that is seeing them turn to nature to help reduce the risk of flooding in Mansfield.

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are being installed across the town on a scale never seen before in the UK, and include verge rain gardens, bioswales and even water-absorbent permeable paving. 

And now, a detention basin has been successfully installed at Samworth Church Academy that is capable of holding 700,000 litres of water – the equivalent of over 3,800 bathtubs. It will manage stormwater run-off by storing it and releasing it gradually into the sewer network until completely drained, whilst improving biodiversity in the area. 

SuDS such as this have an added benefit of reducing the need for storm overflow activations, and therefore improve river health locally, which supports the company’s Get River Positive commitment that its operations will not be the reason for unhealthy rivers by 2030.

Adam Boucher, from Severn Trent, said: “We’re delighted to have completed work on what is one of our larger interventions as part of our Green Recovery project in Mansfield that is supporting 90,000 people to become more flood resilient.

“With climate change, population growth and more development, communities like Mansfield are at increasing risk of surface water flooding during heavy rainfall. When this project is complete in 2025, the SuDS will capture around 58 million litres of surface water, whilst providing environmental benefits to the River Maun through reducing storm overflow activations.

“It’s been a challenge as we’ve been working on the detention basin during term-time but Samworth Church Academy have been fantastic with us, and we appreciate their support. We’ll be doing some landscaping around the school’s picnic area during the Christmas holidays.”

Lisa McVeigh, Principal of The Samworth Church Academy said: “We were delighted to be able to work with Severn Trent to support this important project. As recent events have shown, protection against flood risk is something we all need to support in whatever way we can. 

“We have our own ambition to be a Net Carbon Zero organisation by 2030 and are keen to support local environmental projects and increase biodiversity in the area. We look forward to students being able to use the area as part of their science and geography curriculum in the future, and also their new picnic bench area in the New Year.”

It comes as another detention basin was installed at the bottom of Goodwood Way on previously unused land, which is able to store 600,000 litres of water - the equivalent of over 3,300 bathtubs. 

The project in Mansfield is one of seven programmes that form Severn Trent’s £566 million Green Recovery, and sees the company working in partnership with Mansfield District Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and other organisations.