Work ongoing at Whitby West Cliff in attempts to reduce discharges into River Esk

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Work is ongoing across parts of the Whitby in an attempt to reduce discharges from the Esplanade storm overflow in the River Esk by 25%, with the aim of enhancing water quality off the coast.

Yorkshire Water says the project, which is well under way, is part of a two-year, £180m investment across Yorkshire to reduce discharges from storm overflows by April 2025.

The water company and its contract partners Morrison Water Services are separating surface water from wastewater in the area.

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They are removing highway drainage and key domestic surface water drainage from the combined sewer and connecting to a new surface water system, reducing the need for discharges via the storm overflow in times of heavy or prolonged rainfall.   

Yorkshire Water's discharge reduction scheme is taking in Whitby. MP Sir Robert Goodwill MP is pictured with the project team, on a site visit.Yorkshire Water's discharge reduction scheme is taking in Whitby. MP Sir Robert Goodwill MP is pictured with the project team, on a site visit.
Yorkshire Water's discharge reduction scheme is taking in Whitby. MP Sir Robert Goodwill MP is pictured with the project team, on a site visit.

Work is taking place on Esplanade, North Terrace, White Point Road, North Promenade and Argyle Road to install new surface water sewers, manholes and reroute highway drainage.

While work is taking place some roads are closed temporarily and diversions in place.

The project will be carried out in two phases to reduce traffic disruption over the summer months and is expected to be completed in October.

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Once completed, the surface water drainage system will be able to take rainwater from highways and surface water from properties directly to the sea, rather than combining with wastewater.

Omair Khan, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Tackling storm overflows is a priority for us and this project is just a small part of our wider plans, which have been submitted to Ofwat for approval, to invest a further £1.4bn to reduce discharges into rivers and seas by 2030.

“We know there is more to do on our coast to improve water quality.”

Scarborough and Whitby MP Sir Robert Goodwill visited the site to see the scale of work being done.

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He said: “This scheme to remove surface water from sewers will help reduce storm overflow discharges and is positive news for Whitby.

"I’m pleased to have visited to learn more about this project and Yorkshire Water’s wider work to improve coastal and river water quality, which I was pleased includes more investment across my Scarborough and Whitby constituency.”