07 November 2023


Anglian Water is set to upgrade its Water Recycling Centres (WRCs) at Gosfield, Earls Colne and Eight Ash Green, installing new equipment which will remove phosphorous from wastewater, improving river water quality nearby.

Work is due to start on each site this month and is expected to finish by summer 2024. As the upgrades are taking place on site at the WRCs, Anglian Water customers in the local area should not experience any disruption during the scheme.

Phosphorous is widely used in soaps and cleaning products but can be harmful to wildlife when it reaches rivers and other watercourses. The investments at Gosfield, Earls Colne and Eight Ash Green WRCs, which are collectively worth more than £7 million, includes new equipment to strengthen the current water recycling process and remove even more phosphorous from wastewater. This equipment will help remove harmful algae growth and improve water quality in local watercourses.

Anglian Water’s team has used detailed modelling of the local system to design a robust engineering scheme which will help to protect local watercourses in the Colchester and Braintree area now and in the future. This investment means the water entering the River Colne from each WRC will be even cleaner, protecting wildlife and water quality in the river.

Regan Harris, spokesperson for Anglian Water, said: “We’re really pleased that these upgrades to our Water Recycling Centres in Essex will help to protect nearby rivers and increase our resilience to climate change, by helping us make sure the wastewater is treated to an even higher standard than usual before it’s returned to the natural environment.

“We know how important rivers and the wider environment are to our customers and local communities. That’s why we’ve committed through our Get River Positive programme that our water recycling processes will not harm rivers.”

At Earls Colne WRC, off Colneford Hill in White Colne, the company will also be installing a new water pipe from its nearby pumping station to the WRC. This will provide a fresh water supply to an emergency shower, to keep engineers safe while they handle chemicals. Customers in the area might notice more Anglian Water vehicles in the area during this construction, but this work will take place within typical working hours in order to minimise any disruption for residents.

Get River Positive was launched by Anglian Water and Severn Trent last year. The plan includes five pledges to transform river water quality across their regions, and demonstrates a clear and actionable response to calls for a revival of rivers in England. Central to the pledges is a commitment that work carried out by the two water companies will ensure storm overflows and sewage treatment works do not harm rivers.

This project is being completed by Anglian Water’s @one Alliance. The @one Alliance delivers complex engineering and construction projects across the Anglian Water region, utilising the skills and expertise provided by their seven partner organisations – specialising in the world of water.