TWO areas in Bradford will be targeted as part of a £300 million project by Yorkshire Water to prevent future incidents of sewage pollution.

Straithgate Lane and Fellside Close, Parkside, are two of more than 300 'hotspot' areas which will be targeted across Yorkshire under the UK-first scheme.

Analysts at the Bradford-based utility company have used historical data to start a model to monitor the weather and sound an alert when conditions can create sewage pollution.

The firm will then use this trigger to jet wash the inside of the pipes in the region's most at risk pollution hotspots, preventing further incidents and saving the possibility of future outbreaks.

The intelligent new system aims to be more proactive with incidents of sewage pollution and will identify the times when an escape is more likely to take place.

It is something that has been dealt with in a more reactive way in the past and has triggered Yorkshire Water's new approach.

The scheme will also see Yorkshire Water refurbish its sewers, relaying rising mains and upgrading its pumping stations over the next five years.

Staff are called to clear any blockages in Yorkshire Water's sewage network, particularly the identified hotspots, before rain causes an escape to happen. This is used when a threatening spell of weather is forecast.

A blockage and then pollution can take place when dry weather, which decreases the flow in sewers is followed by a spell of rain.

The project might also be rolled out to other areas of concern within Yorkshire Water, including flooding and odour, if the sewage pollution scheme proves to be successful.

James Harrison, technical sewerage manager for Yorkshire Water, said the firm aims to deal with the problem on the front foot and it will be a "more efficient way of working".

He said: "Taking care of the environment is absolutely crucial to our business and that's why we wanted to try to develop a new approach to minimising sewage pollution.

"Rather than being on the back foot, preventing the problem from occurring in the first place is a far more efficient way of working and we're already starting to see the results with numerous potential incidents being prevented."

Sewage pollution is viewed as a major problem for water companies, with water quality and wildlife affected by escapes into becks, rivers and seawater.