Drainage is key to stop Aire floods at Steeton

Councillor David Mullen

Councillor David Mullen

First published in News

Major sewage floods in the Aire Valley below Steeton have prompted a new action plan.

Yorkshire Water has drawn up the strategy to tackle drainage problems in the area known as Steeton Ings.

The new Keighley Low Level Drainage Area Plan was devised by water chiefs through close work with local councillors and public bodies.

The groups came together in 2011, following a severe escape of sewage, to form the Aire Valley Sewerage Group.

The new drainage plan has been welcomed by Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council chairman David Mullen.

He said the Sewerage Group, which also includes the Environment Agency and the Aire Rivers Trust, had held several productive meetings.

He said: “I’m happy that Yorkshire Water has listened to residents’ concerns and acted on what we’ve told them.”

The 2011 crisis centred on the Aire Valley Trunk Sewer, a concrete pipe that can be seen running through fields above the ground.

A Yorkshire Water spokesman said: “The severe flooding was the result of the blockage of the pipe at Steeton with a large amount of fat and silt.

“A significant amount of debris has been removed from the pipe and it is now checked regularly to ensure that further blockages do not occur.”

Yorkshire Water said that since it devised a management plan for the trunk sewer, there had been no further sewage escapes.

The new Drainage Area Plan is part of Yorkshire Water’s longer-term response to both the flooding issues and concerns about future housing development in the Aire Valley.

Yorkshire Water admitted that capacity in the sewer was still restricted, especially during heavy rainfall.

It said problems in the Aire Valley, along with its 300 other Drainage Areas, would be considered at a regional level.

The spokesman added: “We will continue to work with the Environment Agency and local planning authorities to comment on development proposals and develop our infrastructure to support growth in the area.”

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