An £8m project to upgrade parts of the sewer network in County Durham to help improve water quality has begun. 

Northumbrian Water and its partner, Esh-Stantec, will streamline and add flexibility to the sewerage treatment provision at Plawsworth and Pity Me and associated networks.


The project, which will take up to 18 months to complete, involves constructing around 6km of new sewer pipes and two new pumping stations and will help to improve water quality in Blackdene Burn.


The two new transfer pumping stations will be located at the company’s sewage treatment works (STWs) at Plawsworth and Pity Me and transfer flow to the River Wear at Brasside STW.


Initially both the Plawsworth and Pity Me sites will continue to treat sewage to meet strict environmental standards.


The new pipeline will provide a more flexible network, designed and constructed to accommodate the transfer of future flows for treatment. This includes larger volumes generated by population growth in the area.


A future project, expected to take place in Northumbrian Water’s 2025-30 operating period, will involve the expansion of Brasside STW, allowing for the eventual abandonment of the Plawsworth and Pity Me STWs, improving both capacity and efficiency across the network.


Paul Davison, Northumbrian Water’s Project Manager, said: “Now that work is underway, people living in the area will see an increase in activity and we will be working to minimise disruption wherever possible. As things progress, we will look to keep customers informed of any work that may impact them, and work to understand how we can best support them when this happened.


“This project will help to protect the Blackdene Burn, and futureproof our network and sites in this area. This project is the first of two linked pieces of work, with the expansion of Brasside STW to follow, that will really ensure our sewage treatment in this area is fit for the future.”


Customers can stay informed about the project by visiting 


Follow the link to the WINEP Durham Transfer page.