£3.5m investment to protect the Tyne in Northumberland

The risk of sewage spills from a treatment works in a Northumberland village will be significantly reduced, thanks to a multi-million pound investment to increase capacity at the site.

Northumbrian Water’s £3.5m project will see the capacity of Wark Sewage Treatment Works (STW) near Hexham triple, helping to protect the River Tyne from pollution.

The site can currently take in 2.7 litres of combined sewage and rainwater a second before the excess volumes are retained in storm tanks for later treatment.

And while the STW currently operates in line with its regulatory permits, the investment will increase that capacity to 7.6 litres a second, allowing it to meet the demands of local population growth and additional rain resulting from climate change.

The work will be carried out by the water company’s partner, Mott MacDonald Bentley (MMB), with completion expected in August 2024.

While two new tanks will be installed on the site, to deal with the additional flows from population growth and increased rainfall, the project team will establish a temporary facility on site to ensure the waste continues to be treated throughout the works.

Northumbrian Water’s Project Manager, Colin Burdon said:

“With growth in the local population and climate change both contributing to an increase in the combined volumes of sewage and rainwater that needs to be treated at Wark STW, this project will protect the Tyne against overflows by tripling its capacity.

“We will be working closely with local landowners and customers interested in progress on site can visit the Wark STW page at www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk.”

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