WORK has started on a £742,000 scheme by Severn Trent Water to improve the quality of the Littleton Brook in Cleeve Prior by the construction of a new pumping station in Quarry Lane.

The existing pumping station currently discharges both household waste water and rain water into Littleton Brook in times of heavy rainfall, via an overflow.

It will be demolished as part of the scheme which is due for completion towards the end of May.

The new, improved pumping station to take its place will have a greater capacity to store both household waste water and rain water.

These improvement will help reduce the number of time the overflow has to operate and increase the efficiency of the site.

Severn Trent's project manager David Gordon explained: "Sewer overflows protect the sewer system from becoming overloaded and causing flooding, sometime to properties. They are designed to allow very dilute waste water to run off into a watercourse when the system is overloaded during periods of heavy rain.

"This scheme will help prevent this happening in the future by holding the excess water at the pumping station and releasing it back into the system in a controlled way, thereby reducing the need for the overflow to operate."

He explained: "As well as improving the water quality in the brook, the project will also help to make the area more attractive to wildlife and improve the amenity value for the local community."

As part of the scheme, Severn Trent has built a temporary road for construction traffic across fields adjacent to Quarry Lane.

As all the work will take place within the boundary of the existing pumping station, there will be little disruption to the local area.