Severn Trent to kick off groundbreaking UK-first trial in Ludlow as it looks to move stretch of River Teme towards bathing quality 

Monday 18 March 2024

Severn Trent is set to start work in Ludlow next month to move a stretch of the River Teme towards bathing quality in a groundbreaking river health project.

The work is part of the company’s £78 million Green Recovery project to improve the water quality along more than 50km of river in both Warwickshire and Shropshire. 

It will see the company trial, in what is a UK first, the use of ozone disinfection as part of its waste treatment process at Ludlow Sewage Treatment Works – this technology works by cleaning wastewater to a very high standard, before being returned to the river in its most natural state. 

Other works due to take place at the site will include the installation of new storm tanks, and two new final settlement tanks which will increase the capacity of the works to meet the demand of what is a growing population in the town. 

Upgrades will also be made to two pumping stations on private land so more wastewater can be pulled faster through Ludlow, reducing the number of spills from storm overflows, as well as upgrades to two major waste pipes on The Linney and Old Street. 

Wilfred Denga, Severn Trent Bathing Rivers lead, said: “Our rivers are important to us – they’re where we get our wonderful water from, after all. They mean everything to local communities, as well as the wide range of wildlife that call them home. So the work we’re doing to improve water quality in Ludlow will make them better places to be for everyone – no matter how they use them. 

“This pioneering project is just one part of our Get River Positive approach to take care of our wonderful rivers for future generations and helping to transform our local communities. Through Get River Positive, we have also committed that our storm overflow operations will not be the reason for unhealthy rivers by 2030, and this work will play a key role in achieving that.

“We hope the ozone technology we are going to trial will help shape the future of wastewater treatment across the industry, and the UK more broadly, as it may also eliminate pharmaceuticals and personal care products that can be found in wastewater.” 

This project compliments Severn Trent’s wider river health work in Shropshire, where the company has recently announced that it will be spending over £250 million over a 25-year period to reduce activations from storm overflows across the county.

As part of the pipe upgrade works, there will be a road closure on Temeside from 25 April-19 July. 

Wilfred added: “We’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding in advance of our work starting on Temeside. We have brought forward this planned closure as we know that Ludlow has a busy summer season of wonderful annual events, and we will be doing everything we can to complete this important work as quickly and as safely as possible.”

The project will also see Severn Trent work with farmers locally to reduce the impact of agriculture to river health, building on its Get River Positive commitment to working with and supporting others to improve and care for rivers. 

To find out more about this project, follow this link.