Local improvements

Between 2015 and 2020 Yorkshire Water will spend £3.8 billion across the Yorkshire region to deliver better water and sewerage services. Our Blueprint for Yorkshire outlines the company's key commitments, challenges and goals over the next five years. Here are some examples of what we hope to achieve by 2020:

  • Reduce leakage by 10 million litres a day
  • Restore 379km of our river environment to good ecological status in parts of the Aire, Swale, Derwent, Don and Rother
  • Enhance drinking water quality at five of our treatment works serving people of Scarborough, Selby and Sheffield
  • Maintain resilience and upgrade our sewer network to meet the needs of a growing population
  • Continue to provide great customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • Continue to help our most vulnerable customers and promote ways for households and business customers to reduce their bills
  • Reduce our energy consumption through renewable energy generation and efficiency activities

There is another benefit to our investment programme which often goes unnoticed. Yorkshire Water play a key role in boosting the regional economy because our investment and expenditure is retained within Yorkshire on local improvements.

For every £1 we spend, we'll generate almost double this in terms of additional economic activity in the region - for example, we work with more than 1,000 local suppliers across the Yorkshire region to deliver our services. In economic terms our £6 billion ‘ripple effect’ is a major contributor to the Yorkshire economy.

Investing in Yorkshire's drinking water

Investment in our water mains

We produce around 1.3 billion litres of water a day from 250 water sources, treated at 73 water treatment works to produce high quality drinking water. We then use our water grid which includes over 31,000 km of water mains to deliver this water to our customers.

Between 2015 and 2020 we will spend £2 million replacing lead pipes in Leeds, York and Rotherham to improve drinking water quality.

Investment in our water treatment works

We operate 73 water treatment works across Yorkshire which treat water to the highest standards found anywhere in the world. We are investing millions of pounds into treatment works between 2015 and 2020. Some of these works are very old. Our oldest works at Irton near Scarborough was built back in 1884! Irton Water Treatment Works is set to benefit from a £6.4m investment on a refurbishment of the plant to improve drinking water quality to the people of Scarborough.

£24 million will also be invested at Rivelin Water Treatment Works, which serves a population of around 200,000 customers in Sheffield with drinking water. A new building will improve the quality and security of clean water to our customers. We will also improve drinking water for customers in Selby by investment at a local water treatment works.

Reducing flooding to homes

Across the region we will invest £14m in storm tanks to upgrade our sewer network to protect homes from flooding. We will enhance our sewer network to ensure it is better able to deal with the increasing flows of sewage that run through it.

Investment in Hull

Since the 2007 floods, Yorkshire Water has invested significantly in Bransholme lagoon.

Two schemes have been completed - the first to increase pumping capacity at the existing station and the second to double the volume of water storage capacity of the lagoon. We're now working to replace our surface water pumping station.

The existing pumping station had been in place since 1969 and helps protect the Bransholme and Kingswood areas from flooding at times of heavy rainfall. Water from around the catchment area flows into Bransholme Pumping Station, which pumps excess water either into the River Hull, or at high tide into our storage reservoir known as Bransholme Lagoon.

What are we building?

Since early 2014 we've been working to build a new, bigger pumping station which will contain eight Archimedes screw pumps. These screw pumps are very large and can move high volumes of water extremely efficiently, allowing the pumping station to react quickly to sudden increases in water.

The building will sit on the corner of the lagoon and will be innovatively designed with a living roof, reducing any noise and improving the view for people living nearby.

Why are we doing this work?

The Bransholme and Kingswood areas have historically suffered from surface water flooding problems. Our existing pumping station pumps excess surface water from the catchment, but it needs to be replaced to provide capacity to cope with increased flows arising from new development in the area. By increasing the capacity of the station, we will be better able to protect the area from future flooding.

How is it going?

We're now well underway with constructing the new pumping station and the six giant screw pumps have been installed.

Currently, major construction is planned to complete by the end of spring 2016. Subject to successful testing, the removal of the old surface water pumping station should follow shortly after. We'll then begin the extensive landscaping work which includes the planting of around a thousand trees.

Investment in our sewage treatment works

We manage over 600 waste water treatment works including our oldest at Thornseat and Agden, both in the parish of Bradfield which date back to 1875 and 1869 respectively!

We’ll invest millions to improve the quality of the final treated water we return to our rivers from these works. Our investment will lead to a reduction in ammonia levels discharged from the works and will improve river water quality for the fish and other animals that live there.

In West Yorkshire we’ll make improvements to our discharges along a 54km stretch of the River Aire which will benefit fish and wildlife as well as helping the region meet the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.

River water quality in Leeds and Halifax will be further improved as £31m is planned to be invested in reducing the impact of storm water discharges into rivers.

We’ll be investing £32m in our key sewage treatment works to reduce the nutrients passing through to water courses in the Calder and Aire valleys as part of our regional programme of quality investment.

An additional £6m is allocated to opening up the region's rivers at more than 20 sites across Yorkshire so fish can more easily travel up them to breed. In West Yorkshire this includes work the River Worth near Keighley and the River Aire near Silden. In South Yorkshire this includes work on five sites in the River Don catchment, near Penistone, Stocksbridge and Sheffield. In North Yorkshire this includes work on the River Ure near Masham, the River Swale near Northallerton and on the River Wharf, west of Harrogate.

We’re also investing £30m at our Saltend Waste water Treatment Works in Hull to improve the way waste water is treated on site, reducing the risk of odours being generated during times of high loads coming into site. £15m will also be invested at our Beverley treatment works to improve the treatment process and reduce odours from the site.

Delivering key projects

Learn all about our latest larger projects that are currently in construction or will be delivered between 2015 & 2020.

Investing in sewage treatment works

A coast to boast about

A coast to boast about

Yorkshire has some of the most beautiful and dramatic coastlines in the country. We know that seaside towns rely on clean bathing water and that’s why we spent £110 million between 2010 and 2015 to help create some of the cleanest beaches and cleanest bathing water in Europe.

By working in partnership with other organisations we aim to secure the highest possible water quality standard at Yorkshire’s 19 designated bathing beaches. We hope this will give a massive tourism boost to the region, with more blue flags and cleaner seas.

Between 2015 and 2020, we wil invest £6.5m to replace the long sea outfall at Wheatcroft in Scarborough. This will be 500m longer so discharge will be further out to sea. The current pipe is also prone to bursting so the risk of this happening in the future will be significantly reduced.

Read more about our campaign

Improving our reservoirs

About our reservoirs

Many of our reservoirs are located in beautiful parts of the Yorkshire countryside and are popular destinations for walkers, fishermen, cyclists and horse riders. Our land, including our reservoirs, is visited by millions of visitors every year.

We have three types of reservoir:

  • Impounding reservoirs that store raw or untreated water like Scammonden near the M62.
  • Over 400 service or supply reservoirs which vary in size. You may not know where your local one is as most of these are buried underground. Many have been in operation between 25 and 100 years and whilst we regularly maintain them we do need to invest in some over time. We’re currently investing £23 million to create 16 new supply reservoirs.
  • Compensation reservoirs which can top up river levels downstream and some can also top up our service reservoirs.

Many reservoirs are covered by The Reservoirs Act 1975 which means we ultimately have the responsibility for the safety of our reservoirs. We have to carry out regular maintenance and improvements and sometimes our vital work may have an impact on leisure activities.

Between 2015 and 2020 we’ll invest millions to ensure the safety of our reservoirs. This includes a £4m project at Butterley reservoir in Marsden to replace the existing spillway, and £1.5m worth of improvements at Stubden reservoir in Denholme. We’ll also improve safety at Swinsty and Fewston reservoirs near Harrogate, Langsett near Sheffield, Widdop in Hebden Bridge and Ponden near Keighley.

Investing in our reservoirs

Take a look at the work currently going on across Yorkshire to improve our reservoirs.

Improving our reservoirs