Severn Trent's Green Recovery bathing rivers project begins with investigative work in Leamington 

Monday 7th February 2022

Severn Trent is to begin the first stages of its £78m investment in Warwickshire next week as it looks to kick off part of its ambitious Green Recovery programme in the region. 

The Midlands water and waste company is aiming to create 49km of bathing quality stretches of river on the River Leam and Teme in Ludlow, by making huge improvements across its network and treatment works, while also benefitting the River Avon. 

The project, which is the first of its kind for a water company, will see Severn Trent begin initial investigations in Leamington’s Pump Room Gardens, digging trial holes to understand ground conditions ahead of the project starting in September 2022. 

Wilfred Denga, Project lead for Severn Trent said: “We’re really excited about the work we’re going to be doing across Warwickshire and Ludlow over the next three years, and we can’t wait for our local communities and environment to enjoy the benefits from this incredible project, which see the trial creation of safer to swim stretches of river. 

“This pre-investigative work is vital in making sure when we come to work later in the year, that our teams know exactly what they’re working with to ensure the work is carried out as smoothly as possible. We’ll be digging some trial holes and boreholes that will help give us the relevant information on utilities and the type of ground we’re working with, so we can crack on with no surprises.” 

The work in the Pump Room Gardens will begin on 14 February and will take around three weeks to complete and will be carried out by Severn Trent working partners Forkers Ltd.

The trial holes will help provide valuable insight into the ground conditions for design teams ahead of work starting later in the year. This will involve digging various trial holes (by both hand and with an excavator) and drilling boreholes with a specialist rotary and percussion rigs to enable geotechnical samples to be taken.

“We’re really excited about getting started with such a fantastic project, that’s going to bring so many benefits to not only the rivers and environment, but to our customers living here who will  have healthier, thriving rivers to enjoy,” adds Wilfred. “We hope the work doesn’t cause much disruption, and it will always be our priority to keep any disruption to a minimum and have the work completed as quickly as we can.”  

As part of the bathing rivers project, Severn Trent will be aiming to: 

• Working with farmers to deliver catchment management interventions to reduce run off and animal faecal pollution. 

• Setting up monitoring systems that supply real time  data about the quality of the river water,  

• Create a public app to give river water quality status information and to support community engagement. 

• Partnering with the local communities to promote pride in their Rivers, creating riverside guardians, fostering behaviour change and increasing social cohesion, training and skills development. • Significantly reducing the frequency and impact of storm overflows.

• Improve effluent quality by installing pioneering new technologies on our wastewater treatment sites. 

Severn Trent is investing £566m between now and 2025 on projects aimed to support the UK’s green economic bounce back following the pandemic.  

The projects include creating bathing quality stretches of river, improving 500km of river five years earlier than planned, increasing water supplies, alleviating flooding using nature-based solutions and supporting customers by replacing old lead pipes and installing smart meters to save water and customers money.