WATER company bosses yesterday unveiled a £100m programme of works and projects which they hope will turn around the reputation of a river once regarded as one of the most polluted in Europe.
Yorkshire Water said it planned to upgrade its water treatment works along the length of the River Don in South Yorkshire and would encourage farmers to play their part in the clean-up effort.
Earlier this year the company announced that it would be spending more than £78m on its Blackburn Meadows site between Rotherham and Sheffield, which deals with waste from around 830,000 people.
But Graham Dixon, Yorkshire Water’s director of production, said the firm wanted to do more than make changes to its own infrastructure in a bid to pave the way for bigger environmental improvements.
Unveiling the project, which will be known as the Don Network, he added: “Our vision at Yorkshire Water is about taking responsibility for the water environment for good.
“We recognise that through our activities, we have the opportunity to play a big part in improving water from source to sea, while at the same time influencing others to do the same.
“But we can’t do this by ourselves, which is why we’re working with a number of other bodies, such as the Environment Agency, to ensure an approach which we’re confident will deliver massive benefits to one of the region’s most important water courses.
“This will help shape our future understanding, future investment and activity on the river for decades to come.”
Mr Dixon said Yorkshire Water had established the Don Network project after the Government had called on water firms to deal with “failings” in river catchment areas.
He said the Don project was the largest in the country because of the large area from which the Don drew water.