United Utilities will be starting work next week on a £100m project to improve Bolton wastewater treatment works. 

As part of its plans to improve the water quality in the River Irwell, the supplier will be making a number of changes to the site off Red Rock Lane. 

To meet growing demand from the Bolton area, United Utilities will be increasing the capacity of the works to allow it to treat 20 per cent more wastewater. 

The increase in capacity will also reduce the amount of times that the storm overflow operates in periods of heavy rain. 

When originally announced, the cost for the works were slated to be just £57 million.

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However, the works will now include major enhancements to the treatment processes at the works to use more innovative technology to treat the wastewater to a higher standard.

This means the final effluent will be of higher quality, with reduced levels of chemicals including phosphorous and improved biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) – the amount of oxygen consumed by bacteria and microorganisms while they decompose.

The total amount being spent at Bolton is now £100 million.

The storm overflow outfall pipe will also be relocated as part of the project. 

The Bolton News: The upgrade should mean higher quality effluentThe upgrade should mean higher quality effluent (Image: United Utilities)

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The full improvements will be operational by April 2025, with landscaping set to completed by the end of that year, according to the water company. 

As part of the works, there will be some traffic management in place on Red Rock Lane and there will be temporary footpath diversions in place for pedestrians as well. 

An additional £10 million has been allocated for further projects at Bury and Rossendale wastewater treatment works.

Together with the works at Bolton, United Utilities says this will improve the water quality along a 47 km (29 mile) stretch of the River Irwell.

As part of its draft business plan for the period 2025-2030, United Utilities is also proposing to invest a record £13.7 billion to deliver cleaner rivers, more reliable water supplies and extra support for customers struggling with bills in the North West.

The regulator will review the proposals and give its draft response by June 2024.  The final plans will be agreed by December 2024.

If you have a story, I cover the whole borough of Bolton. Please get in touch at jack.fifield@newsquest.co.uk or click to send me a message on WhatsApp or on Signal on 07517566383.