Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

More Than a Century of History Down the Drains ; Photographs Show How Times and Technologies Have Changed at Davyhulme Works over 120 Years

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

More Than a Century of History Down the Drains ; Photographs Show How Times and Technologies Have Changed at Davyhulme Works over 120 Years

Article excerpt

THESE pictures show the changing face of the giant Davyhulme works - where a revolutionary way of sewage treatment was developed 100 years ago.

Situated off the M60, the site was originally opened in 1894 to cope with all the waste being produced by the expanding city of Manchester. Parishes on the outskirts of the city were all able to take advantage of the improved sanitation and, in just a generation from 1885 to 1909, the city of Manchester tripled in size.

In those days it operated as a sewage 'farm' and waste was simply separated from water and then spread on the fields.

But the plant had to change the way it worked in a bid to stop the city's rivers becoming seriously polluted as the population boomed.

In 1914, two Manchester Corporation employees, based at the sewage works, invented a new process called Activated Sludge.

This technique harnessed the power of micro-organisms and meant that waste from millions of people could be treated in a relatively small space - which allowed cities to grow and develop on a scale never seen before. …

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