£1m underground reservoir to improve drinking water in city

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CONSTRUCTION work is set to start on a new £1m underground reservoir in Sheffield.

Yorkshire Water is ready to begin work on the new service reservoir in Stannington, which should improve water quality in the city, by the end of the week.

The project is part of a much wider programme of work by the water company to create 16 new clean water supply reservoirs across the region.

Yorkshire Water operates dozens of supply reservoirs across the county, though most aren’t immediately visible as they are buried underground.

These underground tanks – which are usually between 25 and 100 years old – are used to store treated drinking water before it is fed through to householders’ taps.

A spokesman for Yorkshire Water said that, although the tanks are already regularly maintained, “further investment” by the company will “improve the quality of water customers’ receive.”

Engineering specialists Mott MacDonald Bentley will be carrying out the project.

They are set to start work imminently on building the new underground supply tank.

The underground tank, which is equivalent to more than 8,000 full baths of water, is expected to be complete in around nine months and will replace the existing storage chamber, which will eventually be decommissioned and grassed over.

This is the latest big investment that Yorkshire Water has launched in Sheffield.

Projects already underway involve a £12m scheme to improve Rivelin water treatment works to the west of the city; a £17m project to replace around 80km of old water pipes throughout Sheffield and a massive £70m scheme to improve Blackburn Meadows waste water treatment works, close to the site of the former Tinsley cooling towers.

John Bond, from Yorkshire Water’s community engagement team, said yesterday: “We’re committed to providing our customers with some of the best drinking water in the world.

“As well as investing in our reservoirs, our treatment works and thousands of kilometres of pipeline to deliver water to customers, we also recognise that it’s vital that we boast ultra-quality underground tanks in which to store our treated water.

“Whilst our current storage tanks are serving us exceptionally well, we’re always looking to improve our network and this investment should help us to do that, further ensuring that our customers continue to receive superb quality water supplies.

“We recognise that such a large-scale project is always likely to result in some inconvenience to local residents, but we want to reassure them that we’ll do everything we possibly can to keep any additional noise or traffic to an absolute minimum.”

A spokesman for Yorkshire Water added that neither Yorkshire Water nor Mott MacDonald Bentley employees will need access to residents’ properties while the project is under construction.

They added: “Residents are being asked to be on their guard against bogus callers.

“Genuine employees carry identity cards, which can be verified by calling 0845 1242424, and won’t mind waiting while their credentials are verified.”

Meanwhile, at the Rivelin water works, a new treatment process is being installed that will improve the quality of drinking water and “significantly reduce” the risk of people receiving discoloured water through their taps.

A new, timber-clad, manganese removal plant is being built at the back of the existing works on Manchester Road which has been “sympathetically designed” to blend in with the Peak District landscape.

Manganese is a naturally-occurring metal which can cause “harmless” deposits to form in the water system and lead to water discolouration.

Rivelin water treatment works cost £32m to build and first opened in the autumn of 1996.