An engineering programme is set to reduce spills at overflow sites in the Midlands.

Severn Trent is starting this programme following a £1bn equity raise last October to combat spills at storm overflow sites in the region.

The programme will affect 900 sites, including locations in Worcestershire, with a team of 300 specialists implementing around 1,000 capital schemes intended to reduce annual spill amounts by 20 per cent.

As part of the plan, Severn Trent is rolling out 700 new storage solutions for treatment works, able to capture and store more flow during heavy rainfall.

Other notable initiatives include a community trial sending out 8,000 free water butts, the creation of 70 reed beds to naturally treat sewage, and 25 new treatment units to expand treatment capacity.

Severn Trent’s chief executive officer, Liv Garfield, shared some insight on the decision: "Our customers told us they want us to reduce spills from storm overflows.

"That’s why we’ve had an army of 300 engineers and data scientists working around the clock.

"At our peak we’ll be building up to 40 tanks a week."

The company raised £1bn from investors in late 2023, and subsequently boosted its investment in spill-reduction to £450m.

This boosted funding, coupled with a sense of urgency, allows for rapid delivery and implementation of the plan.

Currently, Severn Trent has 2,472 storm overflows.

Over the coming year, priority will be given to improving more than 40 per cent of these sites, while plans are also in place to improve the remaining sites successively.

Last year, 60,253 spills were reported due to an exceptionally rainy season, but current plans predict a 20 per cent reduction in such spills.

As progress is made, further details will be provided on actions planned for each storm overflow site.

A storm overflow map has also been launched to provide insight and visibility into the ongoing work at various locations across the region.

In recent years, Severn Trent has been recognised as an industry leader in environmental performance, earning the Environment Agency’s top four-star rating for four consecutive years.