What we do

With over 62,000 miles of pipework connecting Yorkshire's water systems together, there's certainly a lot of water going around! We provide 1.24 billion litres of drinking water every single day across one of England's biggest counties. Here, you can find out more about what we do.

A legacy of improvements

Since privatisation we have invested more than £20 billion in maintaining and improving your water and waste water services and the environment.

We have a proud history of maintaining and improving services for Yorkshire We’ve come a long way since the water industry was privatised in 1989. Back then, we inherited an enormous legacy of reservoirs, structures and pipes across our region. Some of these are many decades old.

Since then, we have invested more than £20 billion in maintaining and improving your water and waste water services and we’re immensely proud of what we’ve achieved. Our innovation and investment has resulted in significant environmental improvements, the avoidance of water restrictions since 1996 and better customer services, while bringing jobs, work and wealth creation to our region. We have only been able to pay for these improvements through increases in our charges, and we have been able to keep these to a minimum by finding new and better ways to deliver our service and by re-investing these cost savings where it really matters.

By doing this we are helping to protect you from burst pipes that interrupt your supply, low water pressure, water discolouration, sewer flooding or odour problems, and we are also helping to keep our rivers and beaches clean.

In fact, we are the only water company which has invested with the intention of achieving the ‘excellent’ standard in bathing waters. This means more potential for Blue Flag Awards and tourism for Yorkshire.

How do we treat waste water?

We've a network of around 20,000 miles of underground pipes, collecting waste water from Yorkshire's homes, liquid waste from industry, and rainwater that falls on roofs and roads.

After you've used your water it enters a waste pipe, travels into a drain, then into a sewer pipe that joins others to form something we call a trunk sewer. Eventually it reaches one of our 631 waste water treatment works across the region. Over one billion litres of waste water is collected, treated and disposed safely back into the environment on a daily basis.

Step 1

We remove debris and large objects by passing the waste water through specially designed filter screens.

Step 2

Sewage is transferred into a settlement tank where solid matter sinks to form sludge.

Step 3

The liquid sewage flows on to stage three which involves biological treatment. Here, filters of stone containing billions of bacteria and small organisms remove any organic pollutants.

Step 4

Finally, the sewage enters our settlement tanks where any remaining micro-organisms and sludge sink to the bottom. From here, the treated water can be returned to the environment. Most of the sludge produced is then digested and conditioned to create a stable material suitable for recycling to farmland - this is called biosolids recycling. Alternatively a proportion of the sludge may be burnt harmlessly in our sewage sludge incinerators.

Waste water treatment

Investment in your area

Simply enter your postcode or place name to see what's going on in your area (you must provide a postcode to get information on your water quality).

Why use 'In your area'?

It's quick, reliable, up-to-date service showing you where we're working in your area and what it means for you. It will tell you all about the quality of your water, where you can go for a walk in Yorkshire and even what the local weather will be.

Who is it for?

Everyone! Not only does it help you avoid roadworks, it has fun, downloadable puzzles for the kids and advice on where to go to catch the best fish - if you like that sort of thing!

What's happening in your area?

Taking care of the environment

Making sure we take care of the community that we live in.
Our company vision is ‘Taking responsibility for the water environment for good’.

Protecting Yorkshire’s environment is at the core of our day-to-day business, from supplying our customers with a reliable source of clean water, to treating waste water and returning it safely back to our rivers and coasts. All of this must be done against a backdrop of significant economic, social and environmental change, and an evolving regulatory framework.​

Investing in our environment


We are committed to continually exploring and developing new ways to do things better. Only by thinking differently will we deliver innovative solutions that challenge and improve the way we do things both now and in the future.

Innovation is one of the key driving forces of our business. It allows us to deliver more at the same time as keeping costs down. It will also help us to continue delivering an exceptional level of service both now and into an increasingly unpredictable future. Innovation will play a key role in helping us cope with the challenges of climate change, population growth and economic pressures.

We’re not interested in innovation for innovation’s sake. Every new idea, process or improvement must be able to prove that it will bring tangible, positive benefits for our customers and stakeholders. We’re determined to be industry leaders in thinking and best practice, ensuring we find better ways of meeting the challenges we face. In particular, we’ll be looking at designing the Waste Water Treatment Works of the future, with the aim of delivering a true step change in energy efficiency and sustainable environmental performance.

As an underlying principle, we will seek to aggregate challenges and solutions to demonstrate greater amalgamated potential.

We have five key areas of focus for innovation over the next 5 years:

1. Developing innovative solutions to enable sustainable use of our water resources.

2. Creating sustainable energy facilities by generating energy from our processes and managing demand effectively.

3. Ensuring our customers are provided with the highest quality water.

4. Developing leading edge tools for our networks which will prevent discolouration and produce tools which allow real-time monitoring and control of the network, reducing the impact of leakage and sewer flooding.

5. Develop state-of-the-art tools to forecast and mitigate the future impacts that climate change will have on Yorkshire.

Committed to our role in the community

We always try to be a good neighbour and take our role in the community almost as seriously as we take supplying Yorkshire’s drinking water.

Hands Up

Our people are committed to what they do, and to delivering service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They also show their commitment by volunteering and connecting with local communities.

We love getting out and doing our bit through volunteering, so we’ve created our most ambitious community initiative to-date, Hands Up, which operates across four inspiring themes:

Water and Beyond

This theme focuses on volunteering initiatives that allow our colleagues to go out into their local communities and really make a difference. Our Right to Read programme allows our volunteers to help primary school children improve their reading. Our STEM ambassadors introduce pupils to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in a fun and interactive way that encourages life-long learning. We train our people to be School Governors, and we run a Speakers Panel where colleagues talk to our customers and community groups about local issues and activities that relate to Yorkshire Water.

Water Force

We have gone into partnership with a number of organisations including the RSPB, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Sheffield Wildlife Trust and the Aire Rivers Trust to conserve and enhance the Yorkshire region.

Water Exchange

Water exchange is a great opportunity for us to engage with local school children about key issues facing the water industry such as water treatment, water conservation, pollution and water in the developing world.

WaterAid in Action

This theme sees us continue to support WaterAid in Yorkshire’s fundraising activities. We’ve also joined forces with WaterAid Ethiopia to help ensure that vital work continues to provide clean water and sanitation to those who desperately need it.