JULIAN Smith MP took time out from his busy schedule as Government chief whip to visit Yorkshire Water’s waste treatment works in Skipton.

The Skipton and Ripon MP was given a tour of the facility which is currently undergoing a £8.6 million upgrade as part of the water company’s £17 million scheme involving sewage works at Skipton and Gargrave and aimed at improving the quality of treated water returned to watercourses including the River Aire and Earby Beck.

The work will allow Yorkshire Water to meet new environmental targets on phosphorus removal. Phosphorous, contained in shampoo and washing detergent, can when at high levels, trigger algal blooms resulting in the blocking of sunlight and causing plants to die and the depletion of oxygen levels, causing fish to suffocate.

Mr Smith said: “It was great to finally visit a real sewage works. Thank you to Yorkshire Water for a very interesting tour.”