A major project worth nearly £1 million to cut the risk of sewers flooding into homes and businesses in Shipley has been completed.

In what is one of the biggest projects of its kind to be carried out in the Yorkshire region, engineering specialists have been working with Bradford-based Yorkshire Water to install a giant underground waste water storage tank in the grounds of Shipley Catholic Men’s Society, off Bradford Road.

The 650,000-litre tank – equivalent to a 25-metre swimming pool – is underground near the junction with Marlborough Road and has now been completed following the 18-month scheme.

Matt Thompson, a spokesman for Yorkshire Water, said: “This work was carried out to improve our sewerage system in the area and ensure its best placed to meet the growing demands it comes under, particularly during periods of exceptionally heavy rainfall.

“We believe, like our customers, that sewer flooding is unacceptable.

“And while we can’t tackle the problem by ourselves, this latest investment underlines our continuing commitment to playing our part in helping to reduce the risk of sewer flooding to our customers and operating as a responsible company dedicated to providing customers with the best possible service.”

Engineering specialists Mott MacDonald Bentley have built the concrete tank, which will collect storm water during wet weather and hold it until sewer levels are back to normal, before gradually sending it on its way for treatment.

The area has now been landscaped so it blends in with its surroundings.

Earlier this month, a gym at a Shipley mill complex was cordoned off with “biohazard” tape after sewage flooded in from a blocked drain following a deluge of rain.

Yorkshire Water investigated the possible sewage contamination at Victoria Mills, next to the River Aire in Salts Mill Road but the area was soon re-opened.

A spokesman said the company did not have to wait long to put the new tank to the test, with it capably holding about 80,000 litres of storm water over recent days, following the heavy rain, which might otherwise have caused flooding in the local area.

The company has also upsized its sewer along Avondale Road and Back Bradford Road and installed a new sewer overflow on Avondale Road.

Mr Cunney said: “We understand the project was disruptive to residents at times and we would like to thank them for their continued patience while we completed this important work.”

Shipley MP Philip Davies MP visited the site in May.

He said yesterday: “I commend Yorkshire Water and Mott MacDonald Bentley for their efforts to keep the community informed at every stage of the work.”