Enhancements to three County Durham treatment works will help to protect water quality in the River Skerne.

Northumbrian Water is investing more than £10m in the upgrades at Chilton Lane Sewage Treatment Works (STW), near Ferryhill, as well as its sites at nearby Fishburn and Bishop Middleham. All three of the works release treated water back into the Skerne catchment.


A further £4.5m is being invested at Sedgefield Sewage Treatment Works, while work starts this month on a £1.3m project at Bishopton STW, both benefitting water quality in the neighbouring Billingham Beck catchment.


Work started in the summer at Bishop Middleham, while the other three projects are set to begin on site in December and January.


Bishop Middleham STW


The Chilton Lane, Bishop Middleham and Bishopton work will be carried out by the water company’s partner, Mott MacDonald Bentley (MMB), with Galliford Try delivering the projects at Fishburn and Sedgefield.


The projects will enhance the performance of the treatment works, as well as the quality of the final effluent that is returned to the environment, and also boost the resilience of the company’s wastewater services across the area. Work is anticipated to complete in Bishop Middleham and Bishopton in early 2024, with the other three likely to be finished in Autumn 2024.


This investment at Chilton Lane adds further environmental protection to the sewer network in the area, building on a £60,000 pipe restoration project earlier in 2023 to the north of the site. This earlier work was delivered by Northumbrian Water and its partner Esh-Stantec.


David Groark, Northumbrian Water’s Project Manager, said: “This investment of more than £15m will help to protect the local water environment in the County Durham and Darlington area by making our treatment processes even better.


“All of the work will take place on our own sites, so while customers living nearby may see some extra vehicles coming to and from the works at key points, they will experience little to no disruption. However, we know it is often the case that people who have a site near them take an interest when we are carrying out such works, so updates will be made on the relevant project pages at www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk.”