Sewage spills into the River Chelt are completely unacceptable. Whilst it's true that they have been a feature of water management in Cheltenham for decades, Alex is clear that the water companies need to clean up their act.
So after months of behind-the-scenes pressure, Alex extracted a ‘cast-iron commitment’ from Severn Trent to clean up the River Chelt.
Water bosses committed to take measures to reduce the use of the emergency storm overflow at the Dowdeswell site by 85% by the end of 2024 - much faster than elsewhere in the country.
That target has now been smashed.
Figures shortly to be released from the Environment Agency will confirm that the number of spills from the main overflow pipe in Charlton Kings ( it is located just downstream of Dunkerton’s) has been cut from 214 in 2021, to just 19 today on an annualised basis.
That’s a drop of over 90%, obliterating the target over 18 months early.
It has been delivered following the installation of sophisticated sensor technology into Cheltenham’s underground infrastructure, which enables preventative action to be taken.
“This is fantastic news, and represents a victory for so many Cheltonians who joined my campaign to demand action. Thousands of local people wrote to express their support, which was hugely helpful in my many (robust!) discussions with Severn Trent.
“I am determined that Severn Trent don’t stop here. That’s why in the coming weeks I will be meeting water chiefs for the unveiling of a brand-new engineering solution to drive spills down further.
“Together we’ve delivered enormous progress to fix this longstanding issue. With hard work, we can finish the job.”