Wildlife boost for two rivers with £26m investment

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two major rivers in Yorkshire will have significantly-improved water quality following a multi-milliion package of investment.

Standards in the Calder through Wakefield have already been enhanced after £18.5m’s worth of work by Yorkshire Water to treat sewage, part of a 27-month scheme to improve water quality and encourage fish.

Under the programme, Calder Vale treatment works in Wakefield has been refurbished and new infrastructure added to ensure sewage is treated to a higher standard.

Two new combined heat and power generators have been built, which allow the site to generate much more of its own energy by harnessing the process of treating sewage.

The works cleans sewage produced by around 110,000 people.

Mark Hewison, Yorkshire Water’s project manager, said: “There’s a double benefit to this scheme, which will not only significantly improve the quality of water entering the River Calder, it will also reduce our carbon footprint, by generating energy worth around £68,000 every year.”

The investment means the works is discharging treated water which meets or exceeds new European standards being introduced in 2014.

In a second project, the company is investing £7.7m to improve the capacity of its Aldwarke waste water treatment works in Rotherham which treats 26 million litres of waste water each day from more than 100,000 people.

The improvements will mean it has more capacity to cope during times of heavy rain as well as being better able to deal with predicted population increases.

Mr Hewison said: “This investment will deliver substantial improvements at Aldwarke and marks a further milestone in our commitment to improving water quality of the River Don.

“The Don was once one of the country’s most polluted rivers, but now anglers regularly catch salmon.”

The treatment works was built in 1902. The latest improvements will mean water discharged into the Don will be of higher quality with less ammonia, which will help fish and wildlife.

Work will begin early in the New Year and is due to be completed by the end of 2013.