£78M Blackburn Meadows WwTW upgrade completed
Yorkshire Water's £78M project to upgrade its Blackburn Meadows wastewater treatment works, which serves around 832,000 people in Sheffield and Rotherham, has been completed.
Originally built in 1884, investment has been made to upgrade or re-build every aspect of the sewage plant which now features the latest technology. The massive re-construction has resulted in eight new primary settlement tanks, four new final settlements tanks, and a new aeration system that uses biological treatment to kill bacteria in waste water.
The scheme has helped improve river water quality with more than £40M spent on high-tech wastewater treatment processes. This has resulted in the reduction of ammonia levels in water released into the River Don to meet the EU Fresh Water Fish Directive.
Water quality in the River Don is now believed to be healthier than at any point since the Industrial Revolution, said Yorkshire Water. The improvements also support efforts being made by the Don Catchment River Trust to re-introduce salmon into Sheffield city centre for the first time in more than 100 years.
The construction of a £23M anaerobic digestion plant is another key area of improvement to the site. This process enables sludge to be heated and converted into a biogas, which generates much of the site’s total electricity needs.
Measures have also been put in place to reduce the impact of any flooding events. This has involved installing a storm overflow system along with raising key parts of the site and refurbishing the existing pumping station to prevent storm-related debris entering the river.
Richard Flint, chief executive at Yorkshire Water, said: “Blackburn Meadows wastewater treatment works has been revolutionised during the last few years and is now a truly state-of-the-art infrastructure that Sheffield can be proud of. £78M is a significant sum but it highlights our commitment to improving water quality and wildlife in the River Don and also, crucially, protecting the site against the risk of extreme flooding happening again.”
He added: “The water in the River Don is now cleaner than at any time since the Industrial Revolution. So much so that the water we discharge back into the river can often be of higher quality than the existing river water. This highlights the great strides forward that have been made to protect the natural environment.”
Yorkshire Water was supported by contract partners Black & Veatch, Earth Tech Morrison and Morgan Sindall Grontmij during the project.
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