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Severn Trent to invest over £500m to clean up rivers after 2021 fine


Severn Trent on track to invest over £500m to clean up rivers after being slapped with a fine for illegal sewage dumping last year

  • Water company said £500m scheme was designed to help improve river quality
  • In December, Severn Trent was fined £1.5million by the Environment Agency  
  • FTSE 100-listed company also said its outlook for the year remained unchanged 


Severn Trent said it was on track to invest over £500million in a programme to improve river quality, after Britain’s Environment Agency fined it for illegal sewage discharges into watercourses in December.

The FTSE 100-listed water group added that its outlook for the current financial year remained unchanged.

Coventry-based Severn said 90 per cent of its customer outcome delivery incentives measures remained on or ahead of target. It has guided to deliver at least £75million in customer outcome delivery incentives rewards this year. 

Scheme: Severn Trent said it was on track to invest over £500m in a programme to improve river quality

In December, Severn Trent was fined £1.5million by the Environment Agency for illegal sewage discharges following a major investigation into sewage treatment in November.

Severn Trent, one of the biggest listed water firms in the country, has been fined for discharges from four sewage treatment works in Worcestershire between February and August 2018.

The agency and water regulator Ofwat last month launched an investigation into sewage treatment after water companies admitted they could be releasing unpermitted sewage discharges into rivers and watercourses. 

The watchdog said in December: ‘The court heard how the company failed to respond to alarms warning of a blockage, failed to adequately manage sewage sludge, and failed to adequately manage a situation when a piece of equipment failed.’

Severn Trent, which brought forward its time target of implementing actions to improve river quality by 16 years following the investigation, said it accepted the court’s findings.

In December, Severn Trent said: ‘These were historic issues that occurred in 2018 and we self-reported them to the Environment Agency at the time.’

Thames Water was fined £4million in November for discharging an estimated half a million litres of raw sewage.

Shares in Severn Trent rose in early morning trading and are currently up 1.10 per cent or 32.00p to 2,935.00p.

Severn Trent will release its annual results on 25 May.

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