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Catchment Management

Investment into Saltend waste water treatment works

Yorkshire Water’s waste water treatment works at Saltend uses a biological treatment process (small bugs that break down the unwanted things in the waste water). The exceptionally high concentration of waste water coming into the site last summer meant the micro-biology couldn't cope and this led to much higher odours on the site that impacted the local communitues in Hedon, Preston and East Hull.

On this page you will find information about the work we are doing to combat the odour issues on site, as well as  details of how you can contact us to find out more.



What’s happening on site at the moment?

In October 2015, Yorkshire Water announced that we would invest £30m in our waste water treatment works at Saltend to help reduce the risk of odours from the site affecting the local community. At the time of the announcement we set a challenging target to have a number of the key improvements in place in time for this summer.

The improvements we set out to have ready for this summer included installing a new aeration system in all eight of the large tanks to the rear of the site where the biological treatment takes place. The improved aeration system means we can get more oxygen to the microbiology, helping to keep it healthy even when loads into site increase and reducing the risk of the process failing and generating odours.

As well as installing the new aeration system we also aimed to refurbish all four primary treatment tanks and install new chemical dosing which is designed to help improve the treatment at this stage and reduce the load passed on to the biological treatment, helping to protect that stage of the process. We have also said we would install a new odour control unit on the inlet pumping station to capture and treat the air to remove any odours generated in that part of the site.

It was a very challenging target to get all this work completed in such a short period of time, but all the improvements listed above are now operational. There is still work to do on site, but having these improvements on line is a key milestone and meets the commitment we made in October.

Yorkshire Water have been closely monitoring the performance of the site and since we first started to bring new equipment online early in the new year we have seen improvements in the performance of the site which give us confidence that the changes we have made will have the desired effect.

That said, it is important to stress that given the nature of what happens on site we can't completely eliminate the risk of odours. Even with the improvements in now place people may still notice some smells as they travel close to the site. The work we've been carrying out is designed to reduce the risk of people being impacted at home or work and we cannot completely eliminate odours from directly outside the site, although the improvement works will help to reduce the risk.

We have now spent about £16m of the planned £30m investment. Work will continue throughout the summer to complete work around the new equipment and we are then due to start on the next part of the £30m investment later this year.

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