Andrew Jones MP visits Killinghall wastewater treatment works where Yorkshire Water is spending £19m to improve the river Nidd
Andrew Jones MP visits Killinghall wastewater treatment works where Yorkshire Water is spending £19m to improve the river Nidd

MP visits £19m investment scheme to improve river Nidd water quality

21 February 2024

MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Andrew Jones MP, visited Yorkshire Water’s investment scheme at Killinghall wastewater treatment works to review progress and understand more about the work being done to improve water quality in the river Nidd.

Yorkshire water is investing £19m at the treatment works, which is located off Crag Hill Lane, over the next few years to reduce the levels of Phosphorus from treated wastewater that is returned to the river Nidd.

An aerated rush bed is being created, which will be an 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 scheme will 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: “It was great to show Andrew Jones MP around the site and explain the work that we’re doing to create the new rush bed.

“Reducing levels of Phosphorus from our treatment processes is really important to us, and as well as improving the water quality in the river Nidd, the scheme will also improve the natural environment in the area. This is all part of our wider plans to invest £500m across the region to reduce Phosphorus in Yorkshire’s rivers.”

After the visit, Andrew Jones MP commented: “Improving water quality in the river Nidd is a key priority for me, and it’s why I’ve worked with local residents to apply for a bathing water designation for the river at Knaresborough.

“I was pleased to meet Yorkshire Water colleagues today at Killinghall to learn more about their £19million scheme to remove more Phosphorus during the wastewater treatment process, which will help improve water quality for both people and the environment.”

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