Yorkshire Water improving river Don with £40m investment at Blackburn Meadows

Blackburn Meadows wastewater treatment works
Energy and environment Network and infrastructure


Yorkshire Water is investing £40m in its Blackburn Meadows wastewater treatment works, as part of its ongoing commitment to improve river water quality.

The project, which is being delivered by Glanua, will focus on removing the amount of Phosphorus present in the treated wastewater that is returned to the river environment following the treatment process.

Phosphorus is a normal part of domestic sewage, entering the sewer system via domestic showers and washing machines due to products such as shampoo and liquid detergent containing Phosphorus.

The work will be completed by December 2024. To enable the construction on the site, the operations of Blackburn Meadows will be temporarily altered to divert treated effluent to an alternative location, which is located at Jordans Dam. Yorkshire Water has liaised with the Environment Agency in the planning of this work.

Rachael Fox, head of programme delivery at Yorkshire Water, said: “We are committed to improving water quality in the rivers across our region. One of the key focuses is the reduction of Phosphorus entering rivers in the treated wastewater we safely return to the environment. Reducing Phosphorus levels can make a real difference to water quality in our rivers.

“This project is a significant part of a £790m investment by 2025 in Phosphorus removal. Blackburn Meadows is one of our largest wastewater treatment works and handles wastewater from Sheffield and surrounding areas. The upgrade of the site will significantly reduce the Phosphorus levels in the Don, benefiting the watercourse and the wildlife within.”

The £40m upgrade will ensure the reduction of Phosphorus levels within the treated wastewater to 0.3 mg/l Total Phosphorus.