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How poo became a family business for the Powell brothers

It's been a family affair treating the region's water for three quarters of a century.

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The brothers are part of 75 years worth of family service at the treatment works

Phil and Ian Powell are among three generations to have worked at Severn Trent’s Minworth Sewage Treatment Works since the company was formed 50 years ago.

The sprawling plant treats an average of 6,600 litres of sewage per second from almost two million people across Birmingham and the Black Country, but can see that figure double during heavy storms.

And the Powell family, who are all massive Aston Villa fans, have been at the heart of the operation since the then Severn Trent Water Authority was launched in 1974, later becoming Severn Trent.

The brothers’ late dad Albert joined the company that year and worked at the plant, whose origins date back to Victorian England.

Phil joined his father at Minworth in 1981, aged 21, before younger brother Ian arrived in 2005.

Phil’s son Jordan, daughter Dionne and even his wife Barbara have also previously worked at the site while their nephew, Ryan Conway, was employed there too.

Phil Powell joined his dad Albert at the site in 1981 and worked with him with many years

Together the Powells have clocked up more than 75 years at the sewage treatment works, with dad-of-two Phil now one of the longest serving employees at Severn Trent, having served 42 years with the company.

The senior technician, who grew up in Castle Bromwich, said: “My dad spent 20 years in the car trade at Morris and British Leyland.

"It was a time of strikes and you never got paid when striking, so he had to do all kinds of jobs from window cleaning, delivering bread, and even picking spuds to look after his family.

“He saw an advert for what would become Severn Trent and applied for a job at Coleshill incinerator and later moved to Minworth.

"He worked here for 20 years until his retirement and loved his job.

“Dad actually told me about the role going at Minworth in 1981 when I was working in plumbing and heating, which was a good money in the winter, but not in the summer.

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