Severn Trent was one of several water companies across England that made it possible to fast-track the Government's over £180 million investment to tackle sewage spills.

The West Midlands water company put £41 million into the pot, which aims to support the implementation of storm overflow prevention measures by April 2025.



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Provisions for the investment cover a broad spectrum, including the acquisition of artificial intelligence systems, expansion of wetland programmes, the addition of new monitors within sewers, and recruitment and training of specialist staff.

The Government expects that more than 8,000 spills which could otherwise pollute our waterways will be prevented.

Environment secretary, Steve Barclay, said: "The amount of sewage being spilled into our rivers is completely unacceptable and the public rightly expects action."

“This money will mean more cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence, and more specialist staff to detect and reduce spills.

A breakdown of the funds to be invested highlight contributions from other companies include Anglian (£50 million), Southern (£10 million), South West (£32 million), United Utilities (£39 million), and Wessex (£8 million).

Plans for additional funds to combat storm overflows have already been disclosed earlier in the year by Northumbrian and Yorkshire Water, and are thus not included in today's announced investment.

The capital injection comes after Mr Barclay, in December, instructed water companies to speed up plans and increase funding to reduce sewage spills over the subsequent 12 months.

This is a considerable extension to the water companies’ previous £3.1 billion investment for the period of 2020 to 2025.

These measures come at a time of increasing concern for the high levels of pollution being dumped into rivers, lakes and coastal regions from overflow pipes and processing plants and the resultant harm to wildlife, public health, tourism and leisure industries.

Surfers Against Sewage's chief executive, Giles Bristow, said: "It’s great to see the Government fast-tracking investment on the decades-old issue of sewage pollution."

“The informed and angry voices of constituents across the UK are clearly making those in power listen and take visible actions to address the sewage scandal."