Davyhulme opened in 1894 and in those days it was a ‘sewage farm’ in the countryside. The city’s wastewater arrived here for some basic treatment before the water was released into the Manchester Ship Canal and the sludge was ploughed into the land.
Technology improved and in 1914 a ground-breaking discovery was made at Davyhulme – a new process called “activated sludge” was developed – a process now used at wastewater treatment plants all around the world. You can read more about this important discovery here.
After the Second World War, as Manchester grew and the population boomed, a second “activated sludge” process stream was built at Davyhulme. The plant effectively doubled in size and capacity.
From the 1980s onwards European legislation was changing to protect the environment. New sludge handling facilities were built, and a new ammonia removal plant came on line. Housing and other developments had been built close to the site boundary so odour control systems were installed.
In 2013 the world’s most advanced sludge processing centre was built at Davyhulme to recover energy from what was once considered a waste stream. The £100m plant generates enough renewable electricity to power the entire site and the end product is a clean and valuable soil conditioner which meets modern agricultural standards. Find out more about the sludge processing centre here
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