BOLD plans to tackle the flooding issue which has long blighted the Faithful City have been unveiled by Severn Trent as part of a £184million county-wide investment to improve its water and sewage network.
The firm’s CEO Liv Garfield revealed this bid to the Observer on Wednesday (October 11) as it announced it would be investing £12.9billion into its network as part of ambitious plans submitted to water regulator Ofwat.
The proposals will see work carried out to improve storm overflows, which act as relief valves when the sewerage system is at risk of being overwhelmed such as during heavy downpours.
If the system gets overwhelmed, it can have devastating impacts including causing severe flooding.
Mrs Garfield told the Observer: “We want to really invest in boosting water and river quality across the County.
“We are experiencing much wetter winters with extreme rain often spilling into overcharging, and people want to know this will be combatted.
“We know people want improvements sooner rather than later and that is why we have gone to investors and secured £1billion to start work on some of our projects across our network right away.”
The multibillion-pound programme is set to create 7,000 new jobs between 2025 and 2030, including 500 within the next six months.
This will include more River Rangers being recruited to improve the health of waterways and boost biodiversity.
Other top priorities include helping with climate change and population growth by laying new water mains almost the length of Lands End to John O’Groats twice over.
It’s anticipated this would provide an extra 100million litres a day from new water sources.
In February, it was revealed sewage was spilt into the River Severn in Worcester some 81 times for the equivalent of more than 43 days in 2021.
Mrs Garfield said her main ambition was to ensure not one bit of harm was caused by any of Severn Trent’s assets by 2030 and to help be a ‘force for good’ by tackling climate change.
In addition, she committed to helping 100,000 people ‘out of poverty and into a better quality of life.’
The plans were shaped through conversations with 68,000 customers.
Ofwat will now review the proposals, and final business plans for 2025-2030 will be confirmed in April.