MP hails plans to make Ludlow river ‘bathing water’ clean

Plans to provide 'bathing quality' water in the River Teme in Ludlow have been welcomed by the town's MP.

Ludlow MP Philip Dunne at the River Teme
Ludlow MP Philip Dunne at the River Teme

Philip Dunne said that he hoped Severn Trent's plans for the River Teme could see an improvement in water quality for wild swimming, as well as the ecology of the river.

The company announced that the Teme would be part of a pilot bid to deliver 'bathing quality water'. It is part of measures from water companies for a 'green recovery' from the pandemic.

The Teme was one of two large scale pilot projects announced by Severn Trent Water to improve water quality, alongside the River Leam in Warwickshire.

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A total of £78m of funding will go towards the pilots, which will be used to focus on a number of measures.

The company wants to "significantly reduce the frequency and impact of discharges from 25 storm overflows and waste water treatment works’ storm tanks", and install ozone disinfection processes at three waste water treatment works.

There will also be river water quality monitoring at both trial locations.

Campaigner

Severn Trent has also announced £7m for water treatment improvement works at Hampton Loade, along the River Severn near Bridgnorth.

Mr Dunne, who has been an increasingly vocal campaigner on the need to address sewage pollution in rivers, said: “I am delighted that the River Teme at Ludlow has been selected by Severn Trent to be one of the first two sites for a large scale pilot project, helping to deliver bathing quality water.

"I met members of the senior management team last summer in Ludlow, visiting the sewage treatment works as part of research into measures to end sewage pollution of our rivers. So I am very pleased that this plant will receive new investment to reduce storm overflow discharges into the River Teme.

"We also discussed options for considering the River Teme as a pilot for securing bathing water quality around Ludlow. So I was delighted that Severn Trent proposed such a scheme for the Teme in its bid to Ofwat for Green Recovery Challenge funding, and now that today Ofwat has approved much of this proposal for significant capital investment in Severn Trent water treatment facilities in the catchment.

"While details need to be set out clearly, this is a very positive start and I look forward to working with the company in bringing together other interested parties and land managers in the catchment to begin to engage in delivering bathing water quality on the River Teme."

He added: "These proposals include tackling pollution arising from storm overflows, which was at the heart of my Private Members Bill to end sewage pollution. So I am hopeful that these £78m pilots will show not only an improvement in water quality for wild swimming, which is becoming increasingly popular, but also wider ecological benefit to the Teme."

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