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Midlands water giants South Staffs and Severn Trent working together on £23m pipeline

Water companies South Staffordshire and Severn Trent are working together on a brand new £23 million pipeline which will improve H20 quality and protect wildlife.

Severn Trent's Steve Hickman with the pipeline's plans

The 11km-long route will link two water treatment works together; a Severn Trent site at Trimpley near Bewdley in Worcestershire, and a South Staffs Water, which is based in Walsall, site at Hampton Loade in Shropshire.

The pipeline will provide a back-up supply to 65,000 rural households in the Ludlow area if ever needed.

Lead designer Steve Hickman has now told how safeguarding wildlife and minimising roadworks were major priorities when selecting the route of the three-year project.

Steve, 49, said: “We always do our utmost to protect the environment, including carrying out a lot of wildlife surveys.

“Some ponds were tested for Great Crested Newts along the route to ensure the work avoids, where possible, their habitats. We will also take out the minimum length of hedgerows to help the dormice population.”

Much of the route is through private rather than public land. Roadworks will only take place on or near main highways where absolutely necessary, said Steve.

He said: “We wanted to keep traffic disruption to a minimum for everyone where possible. We will carry out one road closure at night - a cul-de-sac - while we have deliberately tried to avoid the busy A442 where we can.

“We therefore plan to drill underground at some road crossing sections, including the A442, to minimise disruption.”

The project - due to be completed by March 2025 – also highlights how two water companies are working together for the benefit of customers.

South Staffs Water owns and operates the Hampton Loade water treatment works and its teams will be involved on the work at their site.

Steve, who has worked for Severn Trent for 27 years, said: “We have been working closely with South Staffs Water throughout the project development.”

The project would ensure an emergency supply was available if ever needed. Steve added: “What these projects do is build more resilience into the network, so we could continue to supply our customers with clean water.

“The new pipeline will be a great addition to our water supply network once in place, improving the water resilience to 65,000 households.

“Yet the general public may not even notice the benefit of the project. That’s because if the new pipeline is ever needed they may not even know… as the water will always be there for them.”

Nathan Harper, Director of Operational Delivery for South Staffs Water, said: “This joint venture with Severn Trent is a fantastic opportunity to improve water security and resilience for tens of thousands of households in sometimes hard-to-reach areas around Ludlow.

“We will continue to collaborate with the Severn Trent project team and key local stakeholders to deliver a solution that mitigates disruption to wildlife or households, whilst achieving a long-term resilient benefit to customers.”

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