IT was named Sabrina by the Romans, a mighty river which ran along the natural border between England and Wales.

The River Severn must have been as impressive and important to those conquering soldiers some 2,000 years ago as it is to me today as head of Severn Trent’s River Rangers team.

It was the Romans who founded my home city of Worcester, then a little town that grew along the banks of the magnificent waterway that passed through it, bringing trade and supplying food for its inhabitants.

Times may have changed but the importance of this river has not diminished.

In fact, the River Severn and all our waterways are more important than ever as we face the challenges of climate change and a population boom.

Protecting our rivers is something we all have a part to play in, including Severn Trent — named after two of the greatest UK waterways.

Our River Rangers have carried out thousands of inspections across the region as part of our Get River Positive campaign.

They work closely with communities and specific interest groups, including wildlife trusts, to improve river health and biodiversity.

With the rangers, our customers have someone to talk to with a real understanding of their local watercourses.

Whether arranging a guided river walk or carrying out monitoring and sampling, providing this direct link to our communities is a vital role.

But we know we need to do more and are now investing some £250 million across Worcestershire to improve more than 130 Storm Overflows (SO).

Within Worcestershire, Severn Trent accounts for around 16 per cent of the reasons rivers aren’t achieving good ecological status with 84 per cent attributable to other sectors (based on assessment of Environment Agency data downloaded from August 2023).

In 2023 there was about one-third more rain in England than 2022 with downpours continuing into 2024.

Our sewerage system is usually about 10 per cent full but after heavy, consistent rainfall, it can reach capacity, putting homes and businesses at risk of flooding.

The SOs essentially act like the overflow on your sink or bathtub, allowing some water to drain away to rivers and streams when there’s too much in the system.

Around 90 per cent of what comes out of an SO is rainwater.

But we understand SOs are an outdated way of doing things so we are on a mission to essentially re-plumb how the system works.

This will take some time to do but we’re doing it faster than what’s being asked of us.

We have already ensured 100 per cent of our SOs are fitted with monitors plus we will increase storage tank capacity to deal better with storms and heavy rain.

The Worcestershire investment forms part of a £4.4 billion injection into 2,472 Storm Overflows across the Severn Trent region. 

We are also working with farmers and landowners through our STEPS grants scheme to help reduce pesticides, showing how working with our partners is having a positive impact on our rivers.

I’ve raised a family in Worcester these past 40 years.

We love nothing more than a stroll along that famous old river.

The River Severn has been celebrated and enjoyed by Worcestershire folk since those days of the Roman Empire.

We want you to know we are doing all we can to protect it for today’s generation — and all those in the future.