This is the Midlands

The Midlands, a mixture of rugged countryside and major cities and as such it has a legacy of water pollution issues.  Much work is going on to improve the areas rivers and streams that drain into two of the UK major river systems - the Trent and the Severn.

Severn Trent Water are the water and sewerage providers in the Midlands.


Through the Midlands Urban Rivers Community Initiative, the Environment Agency and partners are actively encouraging communities to appreciate their local watercourse and take positive action to prevent pollution from misconnections and sewer misuse.
Some details of the MURCI Waters are set out below or in the final MURCI Waters report.


Canals, brooks and rivers are vital wildlife corridors that provide valuable habitats and places for people to enjoy and be inspired by.  However, these are often neglected environments, attracting rubbish, anti-social behaviour and vandalism.  Water quality too is often an issue, especially in urban areas. WatersideCare is a partnership between Keep Britain Tidy, the Environment Agency, the Canal and River Trust and Severn Trent Water.

The project helps community groups adopt their local river, canal or stream.  Most groups start with litter picking and scrub bashing to smarten up their local environment.  Then with help from the partners, the groups can begin to understand and monitor the quality of their watercourse and educate their neighbours about the damage caused by pollution from misconnections and sewer misuse.

There are now 27 WatersideCare groups across the Midlands from Birmingham and Coventry in the South to Leicester and Scunthorpe in the North. Please contact the WatersideCare officers if you or your existing group would like to join the network at watersidecare or keepbritaintidy

School Presentations

Warwick Wildlife Trust have produced this school presentation to explain about pollution in and around Coventry.

This lesson plan  has been produced for the Stoke area

Love Your River Telford

A number of organisations are working together to improve the water environment in Telford under the common banner of ‘Love Your River Telford’. Active members include the EA, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Severn Trent Water and Telford and Wrekin Council. There are others also represented on the steering group including Severn Rivers Trust, The Business Environmental Support Scheme for Telford (BESST), Severn Gorge Countryside Trust, Telford Green Spaces Partnership, The Strine Internal Drainage Board, Natural England, University of Wolverhampton and the National Farmers Union. The main aim of LYR Telford is to get these groups to work more efficiently together to improve water quality and habitat for the wildlife and people of Telford.

The project includes several elements:
The Clean Stream Team - a multi agency team, working to identify and resolve misconnections and other pollution arising from urban drainage in Telford.
Volunteer training – free environmental training for the large network of volunteers in Telford on subjects such as water quality, aquatic mammals, aquatic plants and invertebrate sampling.
Education – A school education programme helping the children of Telford understand the water environment and the risks to it from everyday activities. Business award – recognising good pollution prevention and water efficiency practice within Telford’s business community.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) – developing an incentive scheme for those businesses interested in retro fitting a SUDS in the town. Community engagement – trying to raise general awareness of the water environment and threats to it from everyday activities.

Love your River West Midlands

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency are working with local communities in misconnection hotspots in Coventry.  The project team is promoting a Ten Point Plan to help residents protect their local rivers and streams.  School pupils are learning about the importance of local watercourses and seeing the damage sewer misuse can cause.  And volunteers are working to improve the quality of water in the River Sowe by helping to restore a reed bed in Longford Park.

Love your River, Stoke on Trent

In Stoke on Trent, Groundwork West Midlands and the Environment Agency are working with the local community to make a positive splash for local watercourses.  The project team are receiving "Love your River" pledges from the local community and helping businesses prevent pollution through sewer misuse.  Brook clean-ups, river walks and River Detective fun days are connecting members of the community to their local watercourses.  Finally plumbing students from Stoke on Trent College are being trained to look out for misconnections – knowledge they are then passing on to shoppers at events at local DIY stores.

Love your Chelt, Cheltenham

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Cheltenham Borough Council and the Environment Agency are highlighting the beauty and vulnerability of the River Chelt in Cheltenham.

Volunteers are working to keep the river clear of debris and are reporting problem surface water outfalls.  The project is also highlighting the damage caused by sewer misuse with Ratty, Toad and Mole from the Wind in the Willows telling local school children about the risks of misconnections.

Love your Chelt Cheltenham

Coventry car wash campaign

The Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, the Car Wash association and Coventry City Council have been working to educate commercial car washers to improve their operations to stop water pollution. With about 30 million cars in the UK the impact of car washing on water quality is a significant diffuse pollution issue that needs to be tackled. Find out about the Coventry car wash campaign.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has produced a 10 point plan to advise people on how to prevent water pollution.