£15m work starts on sewage site

Northumbrian Water's sewage treatment works at Howdon.
Northumbrian Water's sewage treatment works at Howdon.

Work is underway to improve the quality of wastewater services at the region’s largest sewage treatment works.

Northumbrian Water is investing £15million in the latest work at Howdon sewage treatment works (STW) in Wallsend.

It means the company has invested more than £60million in the last 10 years at the site as Northumbrian Water continues to deliver ongoing improvements across the North East.

Northumbrian Water’s project manager, Ronnie Doran, said: “Howdon sewage treatment works serves more than a million people, so it is important that we constantly look at ways to make the site more reliable, efficient and resilient, to make sure we’re providing great service to our customers.

“While the work is self-contained, the public may see cranes or other machinery in action, so we are working to keep the community fully informed.”

Howdon STW is the largest sewage treatment works on the eastern coast of England, between Edinburgh and the River Thames, and can treat up to 12,000 litres of wastewater a second.

The project involves upgrading the site’s primary sewage treatment tanks, including the installation of new tank covers. It will improve the performance and reliability of the site, which serves more than a million homes across Tyneside.

All of the work is being carried out by Northumbrian Water’s partner, BAM Nuttall Limited, within the STW site. Some activity may, at times, be visible from outside.

Preliminary work, which will include full isolation and cleaning of the primary tanks prior to removing the existing covers, is underway, with work set to continue through to December 2018.

In addition to this work, Northumbrian Water is installing innovative flow-monitoring software in its large pipes on Tyneside, including at Howdon.

The equipment will help the company to understand the nature of the flow of waste water to inform any future improvements to the area’s sewer network.