YORKSHIRE Water has unveiled £7.8 billion investment plans.

The package includes funding to reduce sewage discharges into rivers, such as the Aire through Keighley.

But the public will see bills rise to help pay for improvements.

Earlier this year we revealed that in 2022 there were 725 separate overflow incidents across the town, which together lasted for a duration of 3,138 hours.

Locations where incidents occurred included Hainworth, Ingrow, Riddlesden, Sandbeds and Utley.

Plus, further discharges took place in the Worth Valley and at Steeton.

Yorkshire Water has pledged that £1.9bn of its spending programme announced for 2025-30 will go towards reducing the use of storm overflows and protecting the environment.

Other elements of the overall package will include £3.1bn to deliver secure and clean water supplies, through improved resilience of the pipeline network and a focus on future resource needs.

There will also be investment in customer service and increased support for people struggling to pay their bills.

If the plan is approved by the water services regulation authority, Ofwat, average customer bills will rise from £438.12 in 2024-25 to £518.76 in 2025-26, followed by smaller annual increases.

Nicola Shaw, Yorkshire Water's chief executive, says: "My focus since joining the company has been on improving our performance and delivering the best value and service for customers.

"Stakeholders and customers have made it clear they want more from us, and we’ve listened to what they’ve had to say. We want to play our part in making sure our wonderful county thrives by focusing our investment in the areas that matter most to customers.

"This submission marks our largest-ever environmental investment and illustrates our commitment to deliver what customers expect. The programme will protect and improve the quality of water in rivers and at coasts, leading to cleaner, safer water environments that support recreation and biodiversity region-wide.

"While this is what we hope to do over five years in terms of investment, it does not stand alone. We are working internally to ensure all our colleagues are engaged and pulling in the right direction to deliver this ambitious plan."

She adds: "Yorkshire Water is enhancing its support for customers who may be struggling financially and will be increasing its contributions to help those most in need. All low-income households will be able to access financial help and Yorkshire Water is committed to increasing its support for customers by 25 per cent."