By Mike Sheridan, local democracy reporter

Shropshire Council will press water companies for better monitoring systems as part of plans to clean up the county’s rivers.

The authority says more frequent reporting is required from Severn Trent Water to help tackle a rising tide of sewage in Shropshire’s main rivers, which saw the Severn in Shrewsbury tagged with the lowest water quality rating in some areas earlier this year.

Recommendations adopted by Shropshire Council’s cabinet also include measures to separate rainwater from wastewater to reduce the risk of sewage infrastructure being overwhelmed after heavy downpours.

A report outlining the research of a working group of Shropshire councillors said clean and healthy rivers were “essential to Shropshire’s prosperity and wellbeing”.

“In recent years there have been complaints that water quality in rivers has deteriorated. The chief contributor in urban areas are the frequent and intermittent discharges of raw sewage when it rains,” it said.

“[Members] have focused on sewage in this work but have taken account of agriculture and highways run-off as it has come up in their investigation.

“It is important that Shropshire Council plays an active role in holding key partners to account, and looks at opportunities to enable, encourage and enforce actions that will help to reduce sewage being released into waterways.”

The group also recommended that so-called “Grampian conditions”, planning conditions that prevent work starting on new developments until infrastructure work has been completed, should be adopted to ensure new developments are joined to appropriate sewage and rainwater pipework.

Severn Trent Water say they’re investing £100m per year in improving infrastructure, and in October the company announced a £12.9bn scheme to improve the company’s sewage network.

The provider said they had a commitment to ensure a sustainable future, including healthy rivers, jobs, fewer leaks, and a supply able to keep up with climate change and population growth.

The report recommended that Shropshire Council work closely with Severn Trent Water, agencies and local communities on how and where the planned investment takes place.

An action plan on the recommendations will be brought before the authority’s Economy and Environment scrutiny committee in the new year.