Yorkshire Water: Wikis


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Yorkshire Water Ltd.
Type Private
Founded 1973
Headquarters Bradford, England
Key people Kevin Whiteman
Industry Water
Parent Kelda Group
Website http://www.yorkshirewater.co.uk

Yorkshire Water is a water supply and treatment utility company servicing West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire, part of North Lincolnshire, most of North Yorkshire and part of Derbyshire, in England. The company has its origins in the Yorkshire Water Authority, one of ten regional water authorities created by the Water Act 1973, and privatised in 1989. The company has been part of the Kelda Group since 1999.

Until February 2008, the parent company, Kelda Group, was a listed company on the stock exchange, when it was bought by a consortium of companies.

Also known as Yorkshire Water Services Ltd., Yorkshire Water Enterprises and Yorkshire Environmental Solutions.

The company vision is to be Clearly the Best Water Company in the United Kingdom.[1]

In 1995 Sir Gordon Jones, the £ 189,000 a year chairman of Yorkshire Water since 1983, was forced to quit after a year of drought and public relations disasters for the company.[2]

It is regulated under the Water Industry Act 1991



The company's area includes West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire, part of North Lincolnshire, most of North Yorkshire and part of Derbyshire. The area is adjoined on the north by that of Northumbrian Water, on the west by United Utilities, on the south west by Severn Trent Water and on the south by Anglian Water.

Environmental record

Yorkshire Water has received fines for breaches of environmental law. For example:

  • Yorkshire Water was fined twice in April 2007. The first offence was for allowing polluting matter to enter Clifton beck in Brighouse, contrary to section 85(1) of the Water Resources Act 1991. The final incident killed one third of the wildlife along over a mile of the stream.[3 ] A further incidents in the same beck led to a fine of fined £2,400 in 2004.[4] Yorkshire Water argued that the blockage causing the offence was caused by a third party. Eleven days later, the company was in court again to admit to breaching its discharge consent at its Neiley sewage works, Honley. The discharge consent allowed for biological oxygen demand to exceed 21mg/l more than three times a year. The Environment Agency demonstrated that the works had breached this limit five times in 2005, resulting in a fine of £16,000 plus £754 in costs.[3 ]
  • Yorkshire Water was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £9,051 in costs for supplying "unfit water" in May 2006 in a prosecution brought by the Drinking Water Inspectorate, under the Water Industry Act 1991. It pleaded guilty to three offences. Properties in Harlow Moor, Harrogate, had received discoloured water supplies in February 2004, which was caused by work on its supply mains stirring up sediment. About 1,200 properties were affected and 64 customers complained. The Drinking Water Inspectorate said to the ENDS Report that this was not the first time that the company had failed to check valves before working on its distribution mains. Prior to this incident, the DWI had prosecuted it four times.[5]
  • Yorkshire Water's largest fine, of £119,000 (reduced to £80,000 on appeal), with costs of £125,598, was received in December 2000 after pleading guilty to seventeen charges of supplying water unfit for human consumption.[6]
  • Yorkshire Water was investigated under caution in October 2008 by the Environment Agency following a leak of sewage into Whitby Harbour. The leak was caused by a pump failure and resulted in sewage leaking into the harbour for 52 hours.


From being the most hated water company during the "year of the drought" (1995),[7] Yorkshire Water's performance has turned around so much so that the company was awarded the title "Utility Company of the year" by Utility Week magazine three years in succession while no other company has so far won it more than once.

Yorkshire Water has met or improved on every leakage target set for the company by the Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT). 2006-6 figures are given at http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/aptrix/ofwat/publish.nsf/Content/pn2707

It serves 1.9 million households and 130,000 business customers.


1992 Sludge tip blocks River Colne Huddersfield

Landslip of sewage sludge engulfed a sewage works at Huddersfield in 1992. Almost 20,000 tonnes of sewage slipped from its Deighton waste tip on to the plant, and completely blocked 150 m of the River Colne. The disaster also forced the closure of a nearby ICI plant.

1995 water shortage

This highly embarrassing episode for the company lasted for many months between September 1995 and January 1996 as reservoirs in the west side of the region ran dry and water had to be taken by (up to) 700 tankers from the east side of the region near Goole in a convoy of trucks with 3,500 daily deliveries along the M62 in a drastic emergency measure which cost £3 million a week. The company has now built a pipeline from the east to the west to allow balancing of water levels to take place should the need arise.

2007 Hull floods

The company came under intense criticism when the Bransholme pumping station failed, worsening the flood damage of the city and flooding two thousand homes on the Kingswood and Bransholme estate. However the blocked drains were not Yorkshire Water's fault, but that of Hull City Council.


The authority created in 1973 took over the following public sector water supply utilities:

  • Barnsley Corporation
  • Bradford Corporation
  • Huddersfield Corporation
  • Kingston upon Hull Corporation
  • Leeds Corporation
  • Rotherham Corporation
  • Scarborough Corporation
  • Sheffield Corporation
  • Norton Urban District Council
  • Rawmarsh Urban District Council
  • Calderdale Water Board
  • Claro Water Board
  • Craven Water Board
  • Doncaster and District Joint Water Board
  • East Yorkshire (Wolds Area) Water Board
  • Mid Calder Water Board
  • Northallerton and the Dales Water Board
  • Pontefract, Goole and Selby Water Board
  • Rombalds Water Board
  • Ryedale Joint Water Board
  • Wakefield and District Water Board
  • Yorkshire River Authority

In early 1999 the company took over York Waterworks Company, a small water-only company serving the city of York.


Yorkshire Water does much to promote recreational use of its reservoirs. Available activities include walking, fishing, horse riding, cycling, water sports and bird watching. Reservoirs with public access include:

Full details are given on their recreation website. Walking packs and podcasts are available for free download for some of these reservoirs.

Other reservoirs include:

  • Graincliffe Reservoir


  1. ^ "Yorkshire Water :: Our vision". www.yorkshirewater.com. http://www.yorkshirewater.com/?OBH=4084&SCH=Clearly%20the%20Best%20&ID=0. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  
  2. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/yorkshire-water-boss-quits-1527169.html
  3. ^ a b ENDS Report 388, May 2007, p. 54
  4. ^ ENDS Report 351, April 2004, p. 60
  5. ^ ENDS Report 377, June 2006, p. 54
  6. ^ ENDS Report 311, December 2000, p. 52
  7. ^ "Water Resources". www.staff.ncl.ac.uk. http://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/h.j.fowler/climatechange.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-16.  

External links

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