YORKSHIRE Water is to invest £26m in cleaning up rivers in the Huddersfield area.
The company aims to significantly improve the quality of water in the district by distributing the funding over the next two years to waste water treatment works between Huddersfield and Brighouse.
New treatment facilities will also be built at the company’s Cooper Bridge site and there will be further improvements at Yorkshire Water’s Deighton, Heaton Lodge and Upper Brighouse works.
The project is part of the company’s £250m investment programme for the European Freshwater Fish Directive. The improvements will help to create a more natural river environment to support a wider variety of fish and wildlife.
Yorkshire Water is investing the cash to improve over 250 miles of rivers in Yorkshire by 2010 by upgrading its waste water treatment works across the region.
The project aims to lead to a reduction in ammonia levels discharged from the company’s works, high levels of which can result in the contamination of rivers.
Gerry Smith, the company’s project manager, said: “The work at Huddersfield forms just one part of the improvement programme, which will increase the quality of water in the rivers Calder, Aire, Don and Dearne.
“We have a number of sites between Huddersfield and Brighouse which will benefit from this investment. Because all the work will be confined to the sewage treatment works customers shouldn’t feel any impact.
“Yorkshire Water already works to very high standards when it comes to treating the area’s waste water, but it’s important we stay ahead of the new regulations.
“With new types of treatment now available we can treat the waste water to an even higher level.”
In addition to the work it will be necessary to take down or prune some of the large old poplar trees which are on the boundary of the Lower Brighouse waste water treatment works and the Cooper Bridge part of the Calder and Hebble Navigation canal.
Yorkshire Water has liaised with British Waterways to ensure that this work can take place as quickly as possible.
Mr Smith added: “Health and safety is always of primary concern and unfortunately some of the trees are dangerous as large branches are breaking off and falling on to the ground, which is causing as hazard.
“To ensure worker and public safety it is going to be necessary to temporarily restrict access to the footpath along the canal towpath while contractors work on the trees.”
“Access will be restricted for up to two weeks starting next Monday Yorkshire Water apologises for any inconvenience this will cause and thanks peoples for their patience while it carries out this essential work.’’