£870k investment to reduce storm overflows to North Sea at Ravenscar 

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Yorkshire Water is set to begin a project to reduce storm overflows into the North Sea at Ravenscar. 

The project, which will start on 17 June, will see Yorkshire Water’s partner Morrison Water Services construct a new 248m surface water sewer to separate rainfall from the combined sewer system. This will help to reduce the frequency and duration of discharges from Burnt Howe storm overflow by taking surface water from roofs and paved areas direct to the sea, rather than allowing it to mix with wastewater and be discharged from the storm overflow. Work will also take place to direct road gullies into the new surface water sewer.  

Yorkshire Water will also be lining more than 600 metres of combined sewer on Station Road, Ravenscar to reduce the amount of surface water infiltrating the network during periods of prolonged or heavy rainfall. Preventing surface water entering the network will reduce the need for storm overflows into the sea and help to improve water quality. 

As well as the project in Ravenscar, overflows in Ruswarp, Whitby, Hawsker and Scalby along the North Yorkshire coast are earmarked for improvements before April 2025. 

Omair Khan, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “We’re underway with a £180m investment to reduce storm overflows across the region by April 2025. This project at Ravenscar is just one part of that investment and will significantly reduce the discharges from our overflow, helping to improve Yorkshire’s coastal bathing areas. 

“Separating surface water from wastewater is one way to reduce discharges from the combined sewer network. The new surface water sewer will take rainfall from properties and road gullies directly to the sea, rather than entering existing sewers, mixing with wastewater and causing the network to overflow in times of prolonged or heavy rainfall. 

“This £180m investment across the region is just the start of a long-term programme to reduce discharges. In October 2023, we submitted plans to Ofwat for approval outlining a £170m in our operations along the Yorkshire coast to reduce the impact of our network on water quality.” 

Yorkshire Water has also launched an interactive map to show the operation of its storm overflows in near real-time.