Yorkshire Water will plough £7.7 million into two wastewater treatment works in north Yorkshire as part of a wider £70 million investment to improve 196km of water courses.

The company will spend £5.2 million at Thirsk and £2.5 million at Bedale wastewater treatment works to improve the quality of water returned to the local water courses, Bedale Beck and Cod Beck, after treatment.

Its wider £70 million commitment is being used to improve the water the company returns to the environment from 16 of its wastewater treatment works to meet new environmental targets on phosphorus removal.

Mark Allsop, community engagement and customer service adviser at Yorkshire Water, said: “This work will build on Yorkshire Water’s vision for taking responsibility for the water environment for good.

“We’re committed to doing everything we can to improve our local environment and by completing this work we’ll exceed our target to reduce phosphorus and ensure the water we return to the environment is of the highest quality and deliver significant environmental benefits, and in particular to aquatic life.”

A further £2.3 million scheme is already under way to lay a new sewer pipe from Bagby to Thirsk wastewater treatment works which will also help improve the quality of the water in Cod Beck as the Bagby site is decommisioned.

The amount of phosphorus has become a measure of how good our rivers and water courses are as part of the Water Framework Directive.