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Catchment Management

Local Councillors welcome action plan to address concerns over odours from Rawcliffe treatment works

A new action plan to address odours from Yorkshire Water’s Rawcliffe waste water treatment works has been welcomed by local Councillors.

Yorkshire Water implemented a new plan to address odours from the site following meetings with Rawcliffe and Clifton Without Councillors Stuart Rawlings, Sam Lisle and Peter Dew, who stressed the impact that odours from the site could have on local residents.

The action plan includes significant changes to the way the site is operated and more than £340,000 of investment in odour control technology to ‘clean’ the air from the treatment process before it is released to the atmosphere.

The Rawcliffe treatment works receives waste water from across the north of York, meaning that by the time the waste arrives on site it can have spent a significant amount of time in the sewers, meaning it can generate gases which are released when the waste water arrives on site. To combat this, in 2016 Yorkshire Water improved the chemical dosing at the sewage pumping station, helping to reduce the risk of odours developing in the sewers. 

Further improvements have now been made to this process, helping to ensure it is as effective as possible, especially during the summer months when dry weather means the flows through the sewers are reduced, meaning waste water spends more time in the sewers. 

The changes seem to have made a positive impact and Councillor Rawlings and Councillor Lisle have visited the treatment works on several occasions over recent months to stress the need to resolve the odours from site and to check on progress with Yorkshire Water’s action plan.

They visited site again today to get a further update on the site’s performance and following today’s visit Councillor Rawlings commented, “Having worked with Yorkshire Water on this issue for the last 3 years it’s great to see the problems finally coming to an end. The additional dosing has resulted in some improvements but this £340,000 investment which will see some of the plant enclosed and modern odour management systems introduced will finally address this long running issue. Yorkshire Water have committed to complete the investment program by May 2019 in time for local residents to enjoy their summer smell free”

Yorkshire Water’s Regional Operations Manager Phil Leyland said, “We are very conscious of the impact that odours from our treatment works can have on local people we know that Rawcliffe has had a number of issues in the past, partly due to the nature of the catchment and the impact that has on the waste water arriving on site. Whilst the nature of a sewage treatment works means we can never guarantee that there won’t be odours, our new operating regime, combined with the recent investment in odour control technology for the site seems to be having a positive impact. The further investment planned should also improve the situation even further.”

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