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A new drainage system deployed underneath the M5 has been celebrated for its innovation in water filtration. Taking around eight months to finish, the project cost a total of £7 million to install.

Located under the M5 at Oldbury, it is considered the UK’s largest roadside water runoff filtration system. The set-up will capture debris and pollutants that exist in the runoff water from the M5 carriageway, meaning that water fed back into the watercourse will be cleaner.

Using 10 filters to cleanse collected rainfall, the water from the M5 will be discharged into the canal. This should help to keep the waterways cleaner and promote better water quality, with the hope of aiding wildlife in the area.

Colin Jackson, project manager at National Highways, said: “This new drainage system is a real boost to the local canal network that runs underneath the M5 Oldbury viaduct. We know that the local habitat is a crucial part of the landscape at Oldbury and we’re confident this new system will play a significant role in helping biodiversity.

“The drainage has a special filter installed inside the pipework which is designed to capture debris and pollutants before entering the water network which can then simply be removed by specialists at regular intervals.”

Though the system took many months to complete, it didn’t impact road users on the motorway or nearby local roads during its development. Specialist equipment was used to dig under the M5 to install the pipework.

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