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South Elmsall Sewage Treatment Works – Integrated Constructed Wetland

Using over 220,000 plants to improve water quality and biodiversity

  • 53%

    OPEX Saving

  • -52%

    Embodied Carbon

  • £10M


  • South Elmsall, Wakefield

    South Elmsall, Wakefield

Using a nature-based solution to sustainably treat storm water flows

To improve the water quality at Frickley Beck, a tributary of the River Don, Yorkshire Water commissioned our team to investigate potential solutions. We undertook a range of surveys, applied the total expenditure (TOTEX) hierarchy and a systems approach, and identified an integrated constructed wetland (ICW) solution mitigating the need for a conventional stormwater storage tank. Yorkshire Water aimed to steer away from energy-intense conventional treatment processes, favoring a sustainable, low-carbon treatment, and the ICW outcome did just that.

Designed with over 220,000 plants, the South Elmsall Sewage Treatment Works Wetland will improve biodiversity and enhance wildlife all while blending into the natural landscape and minimizing the use of carbon-heavy materials such as concrete. The nature-based solution uses interconnected ponds aiming to effectively treat stormwater flows and achieve regulatory water quality targets.

Our team prepared the outline design for the three-hectare wetland, two new pumping stations, new weir chamber and associated pipework. Construction on the scheme will commence in 2024 and is expected by be operational by 2026. The scheme expects to deliver 53% operational spend (OPEX) savings annually and a 52% reduction in embodied carbon to compared to a traditional solution.

At a Glance

  • Yorkshire Water
  • Eric Wright Water
Image Credit:
Eric Wright Water
Meet Our Team

Alun Roberts, Programme Manager

I have a passion for working with our clients to solve their challenging problems though effective and intelligent project delivery.

Robert McTaggart, Technical Director

Efficiency is the combination of effectiveness and productivity.

Amanda Ludlow, Principal

I use nature to seek out sustainable solutions to environmental problems.

Anisa Khan, Civil Technician

As well as enjoying the technical side of my work, I love talking with and learning from others and their experiences in the industry.

Alun Roberts

Programme Manager

Robert McTaggart

Technical Director

Amanda Ludlow


Anisa Khan

Civil Technician

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