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Case study: Clifton wastewater treatment works

Integrated wetland design at Clifton wastewater treatment works, near Doncaster in Yorkshire
Integrated wetland design at Clifton wastewater treatment works, near Doncaster in Yorkshire | © National Trust

Learn about Yorkshire Water's integrated constructed wetland at its Clifton wastewater treatment works, near Doncaster, that offers a natural, sustainable and low-carbon way to treat water before returning it to the environment. Discover how it helps increase biodiversity and attract a range of wildlife.

How will a wetland help?

Yorkshire Water is set to create a new integrated constructed wetland at its Clifton wastewater treatment works, near Doncaster, which will provide a natural, sustainable and low-carbon way to treat water before returning it to the environment.

An area approximately the size of three Olympic swimming pools featuring interconnected ponds will be constructed and planted with over 20,000 wetland plants. The wetland will help remove phosphorus from millions of litres of treated water. The natural filtering process will further improve the quality of water being returned to the environment.

As well as providing a sustainable and energy-efficient way of treating the water, the wetland will also increase biodiversity in the area and attract a range of wildlife including bees and other pollinators, breeding birds, amphibians and reptiles.

Engaging the community

Yorkshire Water partners BarhaleDoosan JV and Stantec will be carrying out the design and construction of the wetland, which is expected to be completed in autumn 2021.

Michael Housby, lead project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: ‘This project is the first of its kind in Yorkshire and will provide a range of benefits at our Clifton treatment works, not only for the way we treat wastewater, but also for the local environment…As part of the project we will be looking to engage with the local community and plan to offer opportunities for local groups and schools to come to the treatment works to help plant some of the 20,000 plants that will carry this natural treatment.’

This is a case study linked to the Climate and Land Summit hosted by the National Trust at the Wimpole Estate, in Cambridgeshire, on October 12, 2021, before the UN's annual climate conference COP26 in Cornwall in November that year.

Attendees at the summit represented some of England’s largest landowners and managers, and signed up to six guiding principles to commit to collectively working towards the nation’s net zero aims and pressing needs to adapt to a rapidly changing climate. To read the text of the Compact click here.

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