YORKSHIRE WATER has announced further details of the Community Fund it is putting in place to benefit residents of Hedon, Preston, East Hull and surrounding areas. We re-publish the company’s news release in full (all highlights in bold and images are ours – Ed):
YORKSHIRE WATER is pledging to make a cash fund of £50,000 available to support local community projects as a way of further apologising for the impact of odours which many residents experienced coming from the company’s Hull waste water treatment works since 2000.
Rather than selecting the causes and projects themselves, the company has created a 10 person panel to act as representatives for the local community, consisting of councillors, residents and business owners.
Yorkshire Water will facilitate the panel meetings, with the first one scheduled for Monday 30th April when the panel will establish ground-rules for how the fund will be operated and criteria for bidding for a share of the cash.
Richard Sears, community engagement manager with Yorkshire Water, comments: “We know that for some years the local community put up with intermittent odours from the site and we recognise that this was clearly unacceptable. Since last summer, we’ve done a huge amount of work to reduce odours at the site, including installing a state-of-the-art odour control unit which we believe will significantly help to reduce any excessive odours from the site.
“We want to be a good neighbour and this trust fund underlines our commitment to working alongside the local community and doing what we can to give something back through this £50,000 cash fund.
“Most importantly of all, anybody can put in a bid for the money providing they can demonstrate some benefit to the local community, with a locally sourced panel of well-known representatives having the final say to ensure it is fairly shared to benefit the causes and projects that most deserve it.”
One of the panel representatives, local councillor Mike Bryan, said: “The people living and working around Hull sewage works have patiently put up with odours for a long time. I am pleased that Yorkshire Water has invested in the new odour control unit and that they are now going to invest in projects in the local community.
“I’m looking forward to be involved in deciding how the new community funds will be spent. I think we should welcome this generosity and I do hope this will be of real benefit to our community.”
This latest initiative follows on from the launch of a second odour control unit at the site last December.
Operating alongside the site’s other existing odour control facility, the new unit, which cost £3.5 million, takes air from the sludge processing part of the plant – typically the most odourous area – and treats it using Turkish pumice infused with natural ‘good’ bacteria in 10 large black tanks.
Whilst there is always likely to be some odour owing to the operational nature of the site – it treats up to 40 million gallons of waste water everyday, including a complex mix of trade effluent – the company is confident that with the installation of a second giant unit, any odours will always remain within guideline levels.
This is already being reflected by the fact that since the second odour control unit was installed, there has been a huge drop in odour complaints, with on-site monitors also recording significantly lower odour levels.
The company continues to closely monitor the day-to-day processes involved in the treatment process, with a new full-time site manager appointed to ensure the plant is operating exactly as it should be.
Over the coming weeks, the company will be releasing further details around the fund and how interested parties should go about putting their bid in for a share of the cash.
For latest updates on Hull waste water treatment works, visit Yorkshire Water’s website.