Water quality set to be improved in the River Nidd following £19m investment

Image of Killinghall wastewater treatment works
General news Network and infrastructure


Work will shortly begin at Killinghall wastewater treatment works, where Yorkshire Water is investing £19m to help improve water quality in the river Nidd by removing Phosphorus from treated wastewater.

As part of Yorkshire Water’s commitment to improve river water quality, the investment into the treatment works, based off Crag Hill Lane, began last week, and is expected to run until Spring 2026.

An aerated rush bed will be created, which will be a 800m2 natural solution for treating wastewater flows when there are storms.

It’s the first time rush beds are being used at a Yorkshire Water site, and the specially grown rushes will remove elements of wastewater that would be classed as harmful to the wildlife in the River Nidd.

The aerated rush bed will also help Yorkshire Water reach its Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) target, to reduce the levels of

Phosphorus entering Yorkshire’s rivers and seas from Yorkshire Water treatment works by 56% by 2025.

Phosphorus is a normal part of domestic sewage, entering the sewer system via showers and washing machines due to products such as shampoo and detergent. It can also wash off from 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.

Andy Wilmer, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “We are committed to reducing how much Phosphorus enters the river Nidd and in addition to improving water quality, we’re also improving the natural environment in the area and ensuring our site meets our WINEP targets.

“For the duration of this scheme, you may notice an increase in vehicles coming to the site as we take delivery of equipment and materials. Our delivery route will be from Otley Road to Crag Lane and on to Crag Hill Lane.

“We are aware there is a school on this route and for safety reasons have asked that all site traffic avoids school drop and pick up times.”