A £5.3 million upgrade of a sewage treatment works will improve water quality in a major South Yorkshire river.
Work has been completed at the Cudworth works near Barnsley, which feeds into the River Dearne.
The site was formally reopened by Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, along with Barnsley councillors, who were taken on a tour of the site to see the improved processes in action.
In a first for Yorkshire Water, a new treatment system has been installed in which bacteria from the water are grown on floating discs before breaking off as lumps and being screened out.
The process helps ensure the water is treated to a higher standard than before and was cheaper to install - saving £2.6 million on the original estimated costs.
Caroline Farnham, project manager, said: “Following the refurbishment of the works at Cudworth, the water leaving the site will be even better quality, which is great news for fish and wildlife populations of the River Dearne.
“The innovative technology we’ve used at Cudworth is now being assessed for use on other projects as it has saved money and reduced the energy the site needs to run.”
Following the early completion of the year-long project – it was completed six months ahead of schedule – the Cudworth works can now treat 188 litres of waste water every second and serves a population of 9,000.
The improvements will enable the site to cope with predicted population increases to 2025.