A plan to improve bathing water quality in Ilkley, and the Wharfe has been submitted by Yorkshire Water to the Environment Agency , before going to Ofwat. The solutions that have been put forward by the water company are currently under technical review by the Environment Agency as part of the Water Industry National Investment Programme. The ambition is in line with the future Storm Overflow Reduction Plan requirements to ensure storm overflows within 5 kilometres of the bathing water discharge sewage more than once in the bathing season on average, and no more than 10 times in a year on average. The proposed plan covers infrastructure improvements from up in the catchment to (and including) Ilkley sewage works. The plans are ambitious in their timescales aiming for improvements to be starting to take shape in 2026. Once the plans have been scrutinised by the regulators they will be shared with the Town for comments. Ilkley Clean River group says “Our river is a precious resource for local people, visitors and wildlife. The collective effort of the Environment Agency, Ofwat, Yorkshire Water and local people has produced a solution that radically reduces sewage discharges and improves the quality of the water in our river now and for the future.  Partnership work will be invaluable in the delivery of the solutions and, to also ensure we have action plans in place to tackle other sources impacting the bathing water.”

22 March 2023