£36m scheme announced to tackle storm overflows and improve Pudsey Beck

An artist's impression of the new wetland area off Hough Side Road, Pudsey.

By Grace Cooper

Yorkshire Water have unveiled a £36 million scheme to improve the water quality of Pudsey Beck, reducing storm overflows that carry sewage wastewater into the beck.

The scheme will also introduce a wetlands greenspace which will use plants to naturally treat wastewater on land previously earmarked for housing, off Hough Side Road. 

Animation of the new wetland area, off Hough Side Road, Pudsey.

Work is set to begin on six projects, five of which will be installing or improving storm water storage at various locations. Farnley ring road, Dale Farm in Drighlington, Kent Road and Smalewell in Pudsey and Thornbury in Bradford will all see new or improved storage to prevent overflows into Pudsey Beck.

Richard Stuart, Asset Delivery Director at Yorkshire Water said that sewage pipes carry wastewater from people’s homes as well as storm water and surface water which collects during heavy rainfall. 

“And when that fills up the pipes and inundates the sewage system, then we have something called CSOs or combined sewer overflows, which spill into the river and now that can cause aspects of the river to have poor water quality.” 

The storage projects taking place aim to reduce these overflows happening, with the pipes spilling into underground tanks instead of Pudsey Beck. This water will then be transported back through the pipes to be treated, resulting in better water quality in the river. 

Drone footage of the area where the wetland area will be based.

The sixth project taking place will be at Hough Side, Pudsey, starting in July 2024.

Yorkshire Water will be implementing an integrated wetland, where different types of plant will work to withdraw pollutants from the wastewater that runs through the wetland. The plants will then treat and dispose of these pollutants. 

The wetland will be based at a disused Yorkshire Water sewage works. The land has not been used by Yorkshire Water for at least 30 years.

Richard goes on to say that the project in Pudsey is “an opportunity for some greenspace that’s really kind of thriving with biodiversity and with wildlife.

“I think it’s a good use of this type of land and it will hopefully preserve it for generations to come as a greenspace that is teeming with wildlife.”

These projects will be taking place over the next three and a half years and modelling indicates that storm overflows into Pudsey Beck could be reduced by more than 20%.

The proposed wetland area off Hough Side Road, Pudsey. Photo: Grace Cooper

The six projects and start dates:

  • New storm water storage at Smalewell, Pudsey beginning in October 2023
  • Additional storm water storage off Dick Lane, Thornbury, beginning in January 2024
  • New storm water storage at Farnley Ring Road, near Wickes, beginning in January 2024.
  • Installation of storm water storage at Dale Farm, Drighlington beginning in February 2024
  • Installation of storm water storage at Kent Road – Littlemoor Bottom, Pudsey, beginning in February 2024
  • The creation of a 4.7-hectare wetland at Hough Side, Pudsey, beginning in July 2024.

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