The Tankersley Project

The Tankersely waste water treatment plant has been operating for over 60 years and has been providing quality water to more than 2000 customers in the area as well as to businesses. The water quality in Birdwell Dike was always okay, but there was room for improvement and with new technologies available for water treatment Yorkshire Water took the opportunity to improve the water quality even more.


The upgrade by Yorkshire Water started earlier this month and is expected to cost in the vicinity of 4 million. The old 1950’s plant is located in the area of the township of Pilley, Tankersley and Birdwell, all small villages in a beautiful part of Yorkshire. Tankersley itself lies between the cities of Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester. The M1 takes you right through this area.

The new technology we are talking about is being introduced by Contractors AGT (AECOM Galliford Try) with the aim of improving the effective and efficient operation of the treatment process. While the system had been providing first class water, it was known that the amount of ammonia being discharged back into Birdwell Dike was a little higher than desired.

What is this new technology? Well, it involves using specially designed plastic carriers, and these carriers provide a large surface area for micro-organisms, which is the good bacteria, to grow on top of the waste and perform its magical biological treatment. The system uses large tanks to hold the carriers in suspension. This enables the bacteria to attach themselves there as well. Then oxygen is used by infusing it through the tank and that allows the good bacteria to break down the sewage.

One of the big advantages of this system, being a more compact configuration, is that it takes up a lot less space than the current system, which is a more traditional wastewater treatment. There are so many new ways of water treatment emerging as it has become apparent that long-term water supply concerns are rising. If you’re interested in these new technologies then you can look ahead to learn more.

While the work is being carried on, and it’s expected to take about 10 to 11 months, there will be some disruption to residents wanting to access certain roads. Certain precautions will be in place such as traffic lights at the junction of the access road to the waste water treatment plant and Lidget Lane. Safety is of the paramount importance for the residents.

Louise Hastings, Project Manager at Yorkshire Water comments; “Our investment here will improve water quality in the local watercourses and enhance biodiversity too. Unfortunately whilst the work is being carried out local residents may notice the construction traffic accessing the site via Lidget Lane and past Knoll Cottages. Temporary three way traffic lights will be installed at the junction of the access road and Lidget Lane to ensure the safety of people using the road. We are sorry for any disruption this causes.”