Yorkshire Water to reduce storm overflows in Scarborough with £2.8m investment

Yorkshire Water is set to invest £2.8 million in its network in Scarborough to reduce the number of discharges into the sea.

This work will complement other planned improvements from all stakeholders that have a role in improving the water quality at the town’s beaches.

The investment was intended to be done after 2025 but has been brought forward so it can begin delivering benefits earlier.

The work will take place in Wheatcroft and will reduce discharges from the Wheatcroft combined sewer overflow so that there are a maximum of two discharges per bathing water season, which runs from March to September, and ten discharges per year. The investment will meet the Government’s target for this overflow well ahead of the 2035 deadline. In the 2023 season, overflows operated across the Yorkshire coast for less than 1% of the time but Yorkshire Water say they are committed to reducing this even further.

This announcement is the next part in a programme of investment for the coastline, which will ensure the Yorkshire Water assets are not a cause of potential water quality issues.

Yorkshire Water will be increasing storage within the network to slow the flow of wastewater during periods of prolonged or heavy rainfall. Modelling of the system has indicated increased storage will reduce the discharges to two per bathing water season.

Designs will be finalised in the new year and work is expected to begin in April 2024 and be completed ahead of the 2025 bathing water season.

Ben Roche, director of wastewater at Yorkshire Water, said:

“We’re pleased to be able to bring forward this investment. This investment demonstrates our commitment to further enhancing the bathing waters off our coast. Tackling storm overflows is a priority for us and this project in Wheatcroft is just a small part of our wider plans, which have been submitted to Ofwat for approval, to invest £1.4bn to reduce discharges into rivers and seas by 2030.

“We know across all Yorkshire’s bathing waters that there is more to do to improve water quality. We continue to work with North Yorkshire Council and the Environment Agency to identify the opportunities to improve the water quality in the South bay at Scarborough but want to ensure that storm overflows aren’t the issue. This investment will ensure the overflow meets the new 2035 standard many years in advance. We will also look to align plans across the town to minimise local disruption and maximise opportunities for collaborative working.”

Sir Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, said:

“This is great news and comes on top of other major investments in our area such as, the four million litre storm water tank at the South end of Marine Drive.

“When we get heavy rain, the drainage system can be overwhelmed resulting in expectable discharges. This investment will bring this outfall back within parameters set by the Government resulting in better bathing water quality.”

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