The history...

In 1867, the city prohibited the use of Bradford Beck water in the canal, which soon ran dry. The Beck’s only real utility to the town was now as a main sewer, and in that capacity the stream served as the depository for all of the town’s waste. Even when sewer pipes had first been installed in Bradford, in the mid-19th century, they merely dumped the (untreated) sewage directly into the Beck, to the deep unhappiness of downstream landowners on both the Beck and the Aire. In 1869 one of these landowners, a William Stansfield of Esholt Hall, obtained an injunction mandating that Bradford treat its sewage before releasing it into the river. The first treatment plant proved to be a failure as the grease from the wool mills made the sewage exceptionally difficult to treat, but continued injunctions forced the city to continue investing in treatment facilities. Ironically, in 1899, the city took over William Stansfield’s Esholt estate on the Aire for a new treatment plant, and the Esholt Sewage Works continues to be Bradford’s main treatment plant today. In the 1920s, the three-mile Esholt Sewage Disposal tunnel was dug to directly connect the city’s sewer system to the Esholt works, and the Bradford Beck was finally freed of its sewerage burden. By this time, however, the river had already been completely culverted through the center of town, and so few fully appreciated the change that had taken place

The mission...

This site is MASSIVE, and we still didn't cover it all!! We started at the north of the site from the old primary settlement tanks which are no longer in use. We travelled along the top of the shit pipes, across the River Aire to the main site. The building in the distance is the incineration plant.

Behind the incineration plant is some kind of poo silo

Then we moved onto the best bit of the site, part of Yorkshire Water's £39m upgrade of the works. The upgrade has seen the 100-year-old secondary treatment plant replaced by new 'activated sludge' process tanks. Basically, HUGE vats of constantly whirling gurgling poo being biologically broken down!!

Some sexy industrial pipe dreams going on though

HUGE tanks of steamy poo's being churned and broken down. Aromatic?... Quite

Yours truly