United Utilities invests £230m across county to make the region and its rivers “greener, healthier and stronger”

Areas of Lancashire are to benefit from a £230m programme of investment from United Utilities in a bid to make the region “greener, healthier and stronger”.

By Jane Clare
Friday, 15th July 2022, 12:30 pm

The company wants to improve 184km of the region’s rivers by 2025.

It has announced the locations where it will be investing in the region’s wastewater systems to make them more resilient to heavy rainfall.

Across Lancashire the water company will be upgrading treatment plants and sewer systems, including £2.3m at Chorley, where it is looking at the feasibility of creating a vertical reed bed at one of the storm overflows on the sewer network in Chorley. This will improve 5km of Syd Brook.

Reed beds ... United Utilities is investigating planting some in Chorley

A total of £40m will be spent in Burnley, Pendle and Hyndburn. Wastewater treatment plants will be upgraded so that they can treat greater volumes during heavy rainfall, and the sewer network at Pendle and Burnley will be upgraded to provide greater storage capacity. This will improve 23km of Pendle Water and the River Calder.

Cash is also going to schemes in Horwich, Rossendale and Blackburn.

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The programme will reduce sewer spills into the environment by more than 10 million tonnes a year - the equivalent of 4,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The River Calder, near Burnley, following heavy rainfall in February.

The investment was announced on the day that United Utilities retained the top 4-star rating for its environmental performance in 2021.

Jo Harrison, Director of Environmental Planning and Innovation at United Utilities, said: “At United Utilities, our purpose is very clear – we don’t just supply water, we also want to make the North West greener, healthier and stronger.

"We work very hard to maintain a high level of environmental performance and we’re pleased that for the second year running we have been awarded the top 4-star rating by the Environment Agency.

“We know there is always more to do, and playing our part to improve the health of the region’s rivers is very important to our customers. This is already well underway and, by 2025, we will have invested £230m improving 184km of waterways and we will have developed our plans to progressively reduce the impact of storm overflows in the coming years.”

For further information on United Utilities’ action plan to improve the health of the region’s rivers, visit Better Rivers; Better North West