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Catchment Management

Delivering a sustainable water supply

The challenge

We’ve identified that there is a desire from some of our industrial customers to use lower grades of water in some of their processes. It makes no sense to use the highest quality drinking water when lower grades can be utilised safely. This would mean the displaced drinking water can be used to accommodate new customers who need the highest quality, without abstracting more from the environment and building new, expensive assets to deliver it. It also saves money for industrial customers and reduces the carbon and chemicals used to provide water of a unnecessarily high quality.

The insight

To inform how we do this in the future we are working with some of our large industrial customers in Leeds to demonstrate how we can safely provide them with sub-potable supplies.

We are taking the water we would normally return to the river at the end of our sewage treatment process from our Knostrop Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) and in a two-year trial we will establish what treatment we need to put in place to provide water to meet their needs. At the end of the work we will understand what we need to build and what it will cost to produce the new product and therefore what the saving will be to our customers.

We will also know what the carbon benefit is and the broader benefit in terms of providing resilient water supply in a future where population growth will put increased pressure on clean water supplies. 

The impact

The demonstration will deliver over 30,000m3 (equivalent to 12 Olympic sized swimming pools) of water, displacing enough drinking water for about 600 customers just in this one trial.

We believe that by proving this is a safe, cost effective option we will create a significant impact on raw water management and deliver more sustainable products for our customers in the future and protect the production of products made in Yorkshire.

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