Innovative Underground Sewage Works

Yorkshire Water is about to start on a £1.8 million project at Ingbirchworth, near Barnsley in England, to create a hi-tech sewage treatment works with a difference – it will be hidden underground. The new underground facility will replace the current above-ground sewage treatment works, which has served the local population since the 1960’s. A two-fold increase in the size of the local population over the years has meant that it is now over-capacity and only just managing to treat the extra flows it is receiving on a daily basis.

Not only will the new plant be smaller in size than the current facility, but it will also be capable of treating more waste – and owing to the fact that it will be underground, the risk of odours from the site will be massively reduced and it will be far less visually obtrusive than an ordinary above-ground sewage works.

The new works will be capable of receiving 10 litres of wastewater a second, before treating it to the highest standard and returning it back into the local environment, all in the space of approximately six hours. Work has commenced and the new facility is expected to be up and running by March next year.

“Building an above-ground replacement treatment works would have been far easier than installing an underground facility, but the benefits this subterranean works will bring in terms of it not being visually obtrusive, whilst also massively reducing the risk of odours at the site, made this the best solution,” explains Laura Harrison, of Yorkshire Water’s community engagement team.

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