Aerial view of the water recycling centre in Cambridge

A £21 million upgrade to Anglian Water’s water recycling centre in Cambridge will get underway this month.

The major investment will future-proof the site on Cowley Road for decades to come and support the city’s continuing growth and its position as a regional economic powerhouse.

The announcement adds to a raft of other Anglian Water projects already underway across the city and suburbs. These include £1.6m to extend the sewer network at Great Kneighton to serve around 2,350 new homes; £1.7m earmarked to provide sewerage services for 1,500 homes at Northstowe; £800,000 to re-line 3km of the city’s sewers, plus improvements at another existing water recycling centre at Utton’s Drove. The projects bring the total investment in and around Cambridge to £29 million over the next six years.

Anglian Water’s Director of Water Recycling, Paul Gibbs, said: “It’s vital that we continue to support the thriving economy around Cambridge and ensure it remains one of Britain’s leading business cities.

“Our investment of £29 million over the next six years reflects this and will enable us to continue recycling water and serving the community for years to come. Faced with a growing population, projects like this are vital if the region is to continue to thrive.”

The Water Recycling Centre was built in 1895 and since then has undergone a number of improvements as the city of Cambridge has grown up around the works. It now treats used water from customers in Cambridge and surrounding villages, while at the same time maintaining the quality of the River Cam.

A pumping station and eight new treatment tanks will be installed as part of the upgrade, which will be contained on the existing site, on land near the A14. These eight tanks will replace 25 older, less efficient treatment tanks, which will be decommissioned in 2015. The improvements will also help to ensure ever tighter standards are met for water quality in the River Cam.

Grahame Nix, Chief Executive of The Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership said: “We are pleased to see this level of local investment and recognise the importance that improving the water and sewage infrastructure plays in supporting growth in and around Cambridgeshire. GCGP LEP is keen to see sustainable housing development in Cambridgeshire, and key developments such as Northstowe and Trumpington Meadows, will be supported by this investment.”

Work will start on site this month, with the main equipment installed from September 2014. The project is expected to complete in 2015.

Wherever possible, Anglian Water is arranging deliveries of equipment and parts to take place outside peak hours to minimise disruption and avoid any congestion on the nearby roads.

The water company is inviting people along to see its improvement plans tomorrow evening (Tuesday 13th May) at Milton Community Centre. People are welcome to call in any time between 5pm and 8pm to speak to members of the project team and ask any questions they may have about the scheme.