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Yorkshire Water’s pioneering, environmentally sustainable wetland scheme wins at BCI Awards

Nature-based, wastewater treatment solution at Clifton works recognised in industry awards


The Clifton Works Wastewater Integrated Constructed Wetland scheme has won in the Environment & Sustainability Initiative of the Year category at the British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards.

The nature-based, sustainable wastewater project was completed as part of a joint initiative between Stantec – a global leader in sustainable engineering and design, Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency, and delivery partner, Barhale Enpure JV.

Clifton Wastewater Treatment Works is a rural treatment plant that recycles wastewater from a small village in South Yorkshire. Stantec worked with Yorkshire Water, contractor Barhale Enpure JV, and the Environment Agency to transform the site into an integrated constructed wetland. The new solution uses clay in its ponds and more than 24,000 plants to naturally remove phosphorus from treated wastewater before it is returned to the environment. 

The innovative scheme is the first of its kind in the UK and is now providing a range of benefits for Yorkshire Water, helping reduce the water provider’s reliance on traditionally energy-intense treatment processes and offering a sustainable way to remove harmful pollutants, while also supporting wildlife diversity and achieving a biodiversity net gain. The project has given Yorkshire Water an operational carbon saving of 79% and embodied carbon saving of 50%.

The Environment Agency worked extensively with Yorkshire Water and Stantec granting the first ever constructed wetland Operating Techniques Agreement in the UK.

The BCI Awards recognise and celebrate the most ground-breaking achievements within the UK construction industry, as well as what those achievements deliver for society.

Robert McTaggart, technical director, at Stantec commented on the win: “The Clifton Works project is an example of how multiple stakeholders can collaborate to create forward-thinking solutions that put people, nature, and the environment first. 

“We’re delighted that this scheme is being recognised for its impact. It offers us some fantastic opportunities for research across many areas, including climate impact and evapotranspiration, helping us understand how such schemes can be scaled up or used in other locations.”

Lewys Forsey, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “This project would not have been possible without collaboration between each of the partners and the support of the Environment Agency. At Yorkshire Water, our commitment to achieve Net Zero carbon by 2030, means we need to explore more innovative, nature-based solutions like this to achieve our sustainability and environmental goals. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

About Stantec
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

We care about the communities we serve because they're our communities too. This allows us to assess what's needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what's never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

We're designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

Stantec trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the symbol STN.

Media Contact                                               
Calum Metcalfe
Stantec Media Relations
Ph: +(44) 7928501112

Left to right: Claire Smith (Editor of New Civil Engineer), Lewys Forsey (Project Manager, Yorkshire Water), Rob McTaggart (Technical Director, Stantec), Martin Long (Barhale Communications Consultant), Natasha Kaplinsky (TV Presenter).

Clifton Integrated Constructed Wetland

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