£2.7m investment announced in sewage treatment plant

Yorkshire Water has announced a £2.7m investment in its Kirkby Malzeard wastewater treatment works to improve water quality in Kex beck, which eventually joins the River Laver near Ripon.

The project, delivered by Tilbury Douglas, will focus on reducing the amount of phosphorus present in the wastewater returned to the river environment after treatment.

Th company said this would positively impact water quality in Kex beck, improving approximately 12.1km (about 7.52 mi) of the watercourse.

Phosphorus is a normal part of domestic sewage, entering the sewer system via domestic showers and washing machines due to products such as shampoo and liquid detergent containing phosphorus.

It can also wash off from agricultural fields after the use of fertilisers and be dissolved from soil which can be difficult to control.

While a small amount of phosphorus is harmless and is an essential part of many ecosystems, it can become damaging to human and animal life when unmanaged.

The work, which includes the installation of two new pumps and a new storage tank for chemical dosing, will begin in April and see completion in spring 2025.

Simon Balding, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “The quality of the water in our local rivers is incredibly important for the environment and to our customers.

“Reducing the amount of phosphorus entering the watercourse within treated wastewater is one of the ways in which we are committed to continuing to improve the health of our rivers.”

This project is a significant part of a £500m investment by 2025 in phosphorus removal throughout Yorkshire.