Shropshire Star

Severn Trent offers Shropshire river health reassurances amid bathing site announcement

Severn Trent has said it remains committed to improving river health as three Shropshire river sites are given bathing water status.


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On Monday, the Government announced three spots on Shropshire rivers had been recognised as bathing water sites.

The sites included the River Severn in Frankwell, Shrewsbury, and in Ironbridge, as well as the River Teme in Ludlow.

The announcement that a record number of bathing water sites had been recognised comes amid growing public anger over the state of England's rivers and coastal waters, which suffer pollution from sewage outlets and other sources such as agricultural run-off.

Water company, Severn Trent has moved to reassure residents that they are continuing to work with other sectors to improve river health, stating that they believe they are responsible for around 12 per cent of the river's ecological problems.

The Teme is currently part of a £78 million Green Recovery project, with the site in Ludlow part of a Severn Trent trial to use ozone disinfection as part of its waste treatment process at Ludlow Sewage Treatment Works.

River Teme, Ludlow. Photo: Severn Trent

There will also be upgrades 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: “Today's (Monday) news builds on the work we have already committed to doing in Ludlow as part of our work to move a stretch of the River Teme towards bathing quality in a groundbreaking £78 million river health project.

"This project is seeing us, in a UK first, trial ozone disinfection to clean wastewater to a very high standard, install new storm tanks, and upgrade two pumping stations to reduce the number of overflow spills.

“We believe our operations currently account for 12 per cent of the reasons why rivers in Shropshire aren't achieving good ecological status, with 88 per cent attributable to other sectors and we’re continuing our support of working with others such as the agriculture community with our STEPS programme.

“We’ve recently announced that we will be spending over £250 million over a 25-year period in Shropshire to reduce activations from storm overflows across the county. This work is seeing us do our bit to reduce our impact, and we remain committed to working with other sectors, such as agriculture, to play their part in improving river health as well.”