Yorkshire Water making progress on £17m investment in Ripponden wastewater treatment works

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Yorkshire Water is making progress on a £17m investment in its Ripponden wastewater treatment works in West Yorkshire, to improve water quality in the river Ryburn, and reduce discharges from its storm overflow following prolonged or heavy rainfall. 

The project, delivered by Galliford Try, has already begun installation of a new storm tank and associated pipework to increase storage at the facility, which will reduce untreated wastewater discharges into the surrounding river environment.  

Teams will now begin work on reducing the amount of Phosphorus in the wastewater returned to the river post treatment, via installation of new chemical dosing units, additional treatment processes and modernisation of existing assets. 

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. It can also wash off from agricultural 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. 

When the project is complete, approximately 12km of the watercourse will see its water quality improve. 

Jamie Richardson, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “We know how important it is to our customers that we continually seek to improve the quality of the water in our rivers and to ensure that we’re looking after the environment – and we’re working hard to meet expectations. 

“The work we have already done to reduce discharges from storm overflows, and the work we have yet to complete on reducing Phosphorus from the treated wastewater, are a significant step in the right direction for Ripponden.” 

Works are expected to be completed by Spring 2025 

The project is a part of a £797m investment across the region by Yorkshire Water as it continues its aims to deliver secure, safe clean water supplies, as well as supporting plans for a healthy, natural environment, with a focus on protecting and improving river and coastal water quality, to create a cleaner, safer water environment.