SCREENS designed to protect eels and fish will be installed near Upton.

The screens are being worked on by Severn Trent Water, and one of the first locations to get a screen will be the river near the town.

When implemented, the screens will help to separate fish and eels in the river from the water supply, preventing them from being affected by hydro-electric power and other water intake or outflow facilities.

Heather McCready, project manager from Severn Trent, said: “We’re truly passionate about protecting the precious wildlife in our rivers, so we’re really excited about this project as we know it will bring huge benefits to the environment and to river life.

“We’re committed to protecting the wildlife in the rivers we use to supply our customers with water, so it’s really important we’re doing everything we can to protect them.

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“When all the screens are installed, it’ll mean the wildlife living in our region’s rivers are safe and can live undisturbed by us, while we continue to take water from the river for drinking water.”

Severn Trent is investing £15 million in the work, which will see the screens installed at 13 locations agreed with the Environment Agency.

Some of the screens will be directly installed into rivers, while others will be placed inland.

It is hoped that, when the project is completed in March 2021, eels and other aquatic wildlife will be protected.

Because of their lifespan, eels are at risk from being accidentally drawn into water intakes and outfalls as they work their way through rivers and estuaries to get to the sea.

Severn Trent is working with contract partners CiM6 and NMCN to deliver the programme and the company will then be carrying out installations across its region on other water intakes of the Rivers Severn, Avon, Tame (Blythe and Bourne), Derwent, Dove and Leam.