Sewage spills at times of heavy rain have been used as a safety mechanism in Cheltenham to stop loos in our town backing up for decades. Now, Alex has forced water bosses to clean up their act.
Last weekend, Alex met Severn Trent representatives and engineers on site in Cheltenham to mark the start of a major new engineering project to tackle sewage spills into the River Chelt.
It all came about because, frustrated by this unacceptable practice, Alex decided to pull his wellies on and personally track down the main overflow into the River Chelt, using Rivers Trust maps. Having located it in Charlton Kings near Dunkerton’s, Alex called a meeting with Severn Trent chiefs on-site to express his deep concerns and to demand an end to this decades-long practice.
Severn Trent listened, and in May 2022 agreed to take action.
They gave him a ‘cast-iron commitment’ to clean up the river and pledged as an initial step, to reduce overflows by 85% by the end of 2024. Following the installation of new monitoring equipment and other mitigations, that target was hit in March 2023, eighteen months ahead of schedule. There have been no spills since February.
Now they have gone one step better, kicking off this major engineering scheme involving the laying of a high-capacity pipe.
Work will continue for the next few weeks and Alex will keep constituents updated.
You can read Alex's Echo and Cheltenham Post column on this HERE.