A year and a half ago, we remember Liv Garfield, Severn Trent CEO detailing plans to build a secondary pipe alongside the “gravity-fed beautifully built piece of Victorian legacy architecture” that is the Elan Valley Aqueduct (EVA); an aqueduct hand-crafted in the early 1900s by no less than 50,000 Victorian engineers and workers.
The need for regular maintenance and refurbishment of the EVA (such as draining it for extended periods) has become more frequent and may have had major impacts on the region water supply if nothing was done. Once in place, the new pipe will allow the EVA to be turned off for up to 50 days every other year. This way the “aqueduct will get the care and attention it needs, without affecting the water supply for over a million customers" reassures Carol Bloor – the Capital Communications Manager for Severn Trent.
The Birmingham Resilience Project is one of the biggest engineering challenges Severn Trent have ever undertaken and they’re investing around £300m according to Carol, who adds: “We need to make sure our customers across the region continue to get a reliable water supply.[…] Although the project’s main aim is to make water supplies for Birmingham more resilient, it will have benefits for our customers right across our region, and in Stourport where the project team are based and a lot of work is taking place.”
Instead of going through the EVA, the water will be transferred via a 25 kilometre long pipeline from a new river intake and pumping station at Lickhill, just north of Stourport, to Frankley Water Treatment Works in Birmingham, which is itself being upgraded to accommodate the new source of water.
Councillor Henderson, said he didn’t “realise just how big this project is and how much work is going into delivering it”. He also expressed how pleased he was with the way Severn Trent and contractor Barhale, are engaging and working with people to listen and understand the best way to minimise any disruption while building the new pipe."
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