Work is continuing around Stroud to upgrade and increase the capacity of the sewerage system, some of it dating back to the Victorian era.
Year six pupil Molly Forsyth won a Severn Trent competition to name the latest machine that will be tunnelling under the streets of Stroud as part of the £25million project to upgrade the sewer network in the town.
‘Marvellous Mining Molly’ was lowered into the ground just off the Ebley Bypass and will be used to install 60-metres of concrete pipes that will form part of a new sewer network.
Children at Bisley Blue Coat School entered a Severn Trent competition to name the Tunnel Boring Machine with Molly getting to see it for herself before it started its journey.
The £25million project is seeing the water and waste company install more than two miles of new pipes, upgrading many of the old Victorian sewers in the town. A huge Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) is being constructed off the Ebley Bypass and will act as an overflow valve to reduce the risk of flooding during heavy rainfall. The CSO has a diameter of 25-metres and will be 26-metres deep when finished and hold 7,400m3 of water. Another CSO has also been installed at Wallbridge.
Severn Trent’s work at Dudbridge is nearing completion and will be finished by the end of the month. The CSO and tunnelling works at Ebley will be completed by autumn 2024 and the area landscaped.
The work will help protect the River Frome and other watercourses, and the increased capacity will protect homes in the area and transform the waste network.
The project will also contribute towards the Cotswolds Canal Restoration Project by removing the sewer that runs through the canal in Wallbridge, meaning boats will be able to navigate along the full route and residents can walk or cycle along the canal in its full glory again. Severn Trent has also committed to planting double the number of trees that have been felled during the works.
Arezoo Ilbeygi, Delivery Business Lead at Severn Trent said: “By using equipment like Molly, we’re able to significantly reduce the disruption caused to customers by tunnelling underground. It also allows us to complete our work as quickly and as safely as possible.
“We’re really excited about the progress we’re making with our project in Stroud, and we’re looking forward to seeing Molly in action over the next few weeks. Our project in Stroud is one of the biggest investments we’re making over the coming years, and it will bring huge benefits to the area, as well as the environment.”
Pictures and video by Matt Bigwood.