Northumbrian Water has been granted planning permission to carry out a £2.6 million upgrade to its sewer network at New Brancepeth in County Durham.

The nine-month project at Alum Waters will see a new underground storm sewer tank built, which will measure 66m by 30m, with a height of 2.1m.

Around 300m of old sewer pipes will be replaced with larger ones to increase the capacity of the network to help it deal with larger volumes of wastewater.

Northumbrian Water says the River Deerness has been polluted on three occasions since 2013 because of repeat flooding from sewer manholes, which has been connected to the death of cattle from Blacks Disease.

Tina Robinson, project manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “Now that planning permission has been granted, we can start preparation to begin this vital investment in our network and in protecting the environment. The project will reduce the likelihood of flooding in the area, reducing the chances of pollution.”

Work will be carried out by Northumbrian Water’s supply chain partners ESH and Stantec.

Last Month, Northumbrian Water installed a pollution-busting “moss tree” in Newcastle to purify air in the city centre and create opportunities for research into the benefits of the plants’ natural filtering abilities.