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Union claims job losses to blame for leakages at Severn Trent Water

The union is calling for an investigation into leakages Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive/PA Images

GMB, the union for water workers, is calling on Severn Trent water to be investigated following claims that 500 job cuts have led to leakages and depleted stocks.

They estimate water usage went up by 20% in the last year and claim that job losses and the introduction of a number of cost saving initiatives are behind a 'failure' to control leakages.

But Severn Trent Water, whose headquarters are in Coventry, says job losses have not affected the number of front-line staff and add that teams aim to fix leaks within 24 hours.

The restructuring of the business earlier this year didn't reduce the number of front line staff and so far this year we've had more gangs than ever working to find and fix leaks across the region. Over the last five years we've seen a ten per cent decrease in our leakage levels and our focus going forwards is to bring that level down even further and to fix as many leaks as possible within 24 hours.

"Leakage is one of a number of performance measures we report on an annual basis to OFWAT and our performance is published on our website. Prior to publication our leakage performance is subjected to rigorous assurance processes performed by a recognised external body.""Overall our water resources are in a healthy position for this time of year and we don't anticipate any supply problems over the winter."

– Severn Trent Water

Something fishy going on: piranhas found in Telford sewers

A number of fish were found after residents complained of a fishy smell from their drains in Telford Credit: Severn Trent Water

Residents in Telford who complained about a fishy smell coming from their drains have been told it was caused by dead piranhas, which had likely been flushed down the toilet.

Severn Trent Water says, when it investigated the sewers in Madeley, it also found a number of other dead fish.

It is not the first time sewers in Shropshire have been blocked by odd items - in January sewers in Ditton Priors, near Bridgnorth, were found to be blocked by piles of pants that had been flushed down the toilet.

Sue Fulford, customer operations manager for Severn Trent Water said: "The drains that take waste water away from your home are only a few inches wide and are only meant to take water, toilet roll and human waste.

"Toilet roll is meant to break down when it gets wet so it washes easily through the system."


Severn Trent sees rise in calls due to flooding

Bosses at the firm say they are keeping a close eye on the flooding situation Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Severn Trent have said the rain and storms over the last few days have led to an increase in calls form customers.

Extra staff are working at the firm's call centres and additional teams are being used on the ground to deal with flooding issues.

The company supplies water to more than four million households across the Midlands.

Birmingham's water supply 'slowly being restored'

The water supply to thousands of homes across Birmingham is "slowly being restored" to normal following a major water mains burst, Severn Trent Water have said.

The firm has urged people to stay patient as it may still take time for the network to fill back up.

A spokesperson also warned people their water might be slightly yellow or orange - but said there was no imminent risk to health and it should return to normal if left running for a few minutes.

We will of course be monitoring this, but if you should experience a slight yellow/orange discolouration, please don’t worry.

If you do experience any discolouration, just leave your cold tap running for a short period (usually about 20 minutes) and your supply will return to normal.

We’d like to thank all of our customers for their patience – we know it can be a real inconvenience to be without a water supply and we’re really sorry for any problems this has caused.

– Severn Trent Water

Demand for bottled water soars as taps still dry

Supermarket shelves are being emptied of bottled water as homes in Birmingham have been left with little or no supply since this morning.

Thousands of homes in the city have been hit by supply issues after a water main burst earlier today.

Much of the stock of large bottles of water has gone at the Tesco in Spring Hill Credit: Supplied picture

Severn Trent Water has said it is moving water around the network and bringing in a fleet of tankers to try to restore water supply as soon as possible.

They hope to get 2,900 homes in Great Barr back up and running within a couple of hours, along with 1,500 homes in Northfield.

A further 2,700 houses in the Bartley Green and Woodgate areas and 600 in Selly Oak have also been affected.

One customer fills their trolley with bottled water Credit: Supplied picture

Thousands of homes in Birmingham without water

Thousands of people across Birmingham are this afternoon without water after a "large water main" burst.

Almost 8,000 homes in Great Barr, Northfield, Selly Oak, Bartley Green and Woodgate are among those who have no water or low pressure.

Some of the areas currently affected by the mains burst Credit: Severn Trent Water/Google Maps

A spokesperson for Severn Trent Water said engineers were now on site and trying to find a solution.

He added:

We’re really sorry and hope this isn't causing too much trouble.

We are doing all we can to restore supplies as quickly as possible.

Our incident team have identified some options to restore some supplies and are putting these plans into action.


Rare albino squirrel sighting sparks excitement

A ranger has told of staff's excitement after a rare albino squirrel set up home at a Warwickshire waterway.

The ghost-white squirrel has been spotted at Draycote Water, near Rugby, in recent weeks - and the ranger has finally managed to capture it on camera.

We’ve been all of a flutter since the ghostly white squirrel was spotted at Draycote Water.

Visitors were reporting sightings of the albino rodent, but as with spectres it was proving difficult to capture on camera.

Because of its white colouring it does standout against the autumnal colours here, but it moves so fast, photographing it was very difficult

Just before Halloween, we can’t believe that this rare rodent has made Draycote Water its new haunt.

We hope that it will stay around for the half term holidays so that all of the local children can have a chance to see it.

– Thomas Crawford, ranger for Severn Trent Water

Rare 'ghost' squirrel arrives in Warwickshire

A rare 'ghost' squirrel has made a Warwickshire waterway its new haunt.

Visitors to Draycote Water, near Rugby, have spotted flashes of white as the creature settles in to its new home less than two weeks before Halloween.

Until now, however, it has avoided being caught on camera.

This albino squirrel has set up home at Draycote Water near Rugby Credit: Severn Trent Water

Severn Trent Water ranger Thomas Crawford finally managed to snap the squirrel as it hunted for food.

The albino grey squirrel is one of just 50 thought to be alive in the UK.

The squirrel hunts for food Credit: Severn Trent Water
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