Rishton Sewer Works

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Sewer Works Remains
Sketch of the sewer works building
Picture of the building from May 2002.

The original site was first opened in 1893 by the Rishton Local Board of Health and was later remodelled in 1908.

The Plant included bacteria beds, lagoons, filters, engine, boiler and press house. The works is now partially disused following the construction of a newer sewer farm at Martholme, in Great Harwood.

The picture here shows the filtration beds off to the right of the picture, with the main pump house to the foreground.

There was three filtration beds on the site, the concrete bases still in existence.

In July 1935, the installation of Lea Recording Apparatus at the Sewage Works took place. The cost of this new equipment was £182 10s. 0d., and was fitted by The Lea Recorder Co., Ltd., for the installation complete of two sets of Recording Apparatus.

All that remains... May 2002
Filtration circles and remaining buildings in May 2002.
The demolished building at the sewer works in May 2002.

During August 1937, A wall of sludge dumped at the sewer works collapses.

New sewer mains laid in a council scheme between Saint Paul's Road and the Esplanade caused a lot of surface damage to neighbouring properties and the council were faced with several claims for compensation.

During the 1930's lime for the sewer works was supplied by Messrs. Settle Limes. The council surveyor was instructed to purchase, when required, one load.

A Report from the Lancashire Rivers Board stated that the sample of the effluent taken from the Council's Sewage Works on the 1st April, 1941, had been classified as satisfactory. The Council's congratulations and appreciation were expressed to the Manager of the Sewage Works upon the efficiency of that undertaking.

In July 1942 Mr. P. Gilmartin retired after serving more than 40 years as Sewage Works Manager. Albert Taylor was released from His Majesty's Forces and commenced his duties as Manager of the Sewage Works on Monday, September 7th. He was considered to be on probation and that his remuneration was at the rate of £3. 16s. 9d. per week.

The Surveyor presented the following recommendations from a meeting of the Sewage Sub-Committee held at the Sewage Works on 29th September 1942:-

  • (a) That an American stove be obtained and fixed in the men's room;

  • (b) that a Fresh-water Closet be provided and fixed in the corner of the boiler-house;

  • (c) that suitable brick buildings be erected to house the two Lea Recorder instruments;

  • (d) that a new slow combustion stove be obtained and fixed in the office;

  • (e) that the painting of all woodwork and ironwork be proceeded with ;

  • (f) that the gates leading to the works be repaired and painted;

  • (g) that the earthenware pipe from the circular tank be uncovered, examined and all defects made good;

  • (h) that broken windows be replaced;

  • (i) that the necessary repairs be carried out to the small reservoir to prevent leakage;

  • (j) that the Surveyor be instructed to obtain quotations for the supply and fixing of new arms. 

The Council resolved that the rate of wages of A. Taylor, Sewerage Works Manager, be increased to £4 10s. 0d. per week on the 11th February 1943. Councillor Kenyon voted against.

On the 4th March 1943, the Council resolved that the recommendations of the Sewage Sub-Committee held on the 23rd February were adopted as follows:-

That the following work be provided for in the Estimates:-

  • (i) Boiler House:-

    • (a) Pointing top half South gable end.

    • (b) Provide new top beam for sliding doors.

    • (c) New guttering on East side and new length of downspout. The downspout to be moved to the North gable end.

    • (d) Provide iron stop end to guttering on West side of boiler-house.

    • (e) Rolled timber sill at the South end to be replaced by cement window bottom.

  • (ii) Press House:-

    • (a) Brick upper window on East side.

    • (b) Paint round windows on South side.

    • (c) Point wall of tank adjoining East side.

    • (d) New length of drain pipe from roof across top of tank on East side.

  • (iii) Catch Pits and Beds:-

    • (a) Pointing in various places as necessary.

    • (b) Provide six new scum boards 2 feet by 33 feet each.

    • (c) Pointing of chambers off West side of beds

  • (iv) New Equipment:-

    • (a) New three-eighths screen.

    • (b) Three new barrows.

  • (v) Two Filter Beds to be topped with coping stones and the beds made up with coke.

  • (vi) Boundary wall at the South end of the Works to be taken down and rebuilt, length entailed about 10 feet.

A rough plan of the layout of the former sewer farm.

That enquiries should be made from expert engineers concerning the purchase of a Petrol Pumping Engine to replace the Steam Boiler and Pump.

That the iron parts of the old watering cart be removed for scrap and the wheels and chassis be disposed of separately. It is also recommended that the old road scraper be disposed of as scrap. This equipment is lying at the South end of the Works.

Resolved that arrangements be made for growing food crops at the Sewage Works during the coming summer.

Resolved that a letter of thanks be sent to Mr. J. P. Shorrock thanking him for the courtesy shown in conducting the deputation round the Oswaldtwistle Sewage Works on 2nd March 1943.

April 2002
Filtration rings still visible on the site in May 2002.
Part of the demolished building, and the filtration rings.


There is little remaining now of the buildings.

3 concrete circles can be seen where the filtration units once stood, the pump house has part of the brickwork remaining, and there are foundation stones still visible to the left of this.

The only building which still remains is the boiler and press house.


The sewage works are located off Tottleworth Road. 100 yards from the top of the hill a gate can be found on the right hand side, this is Accommodation Road, at the bottom of this lane are the remains of the works.

The works sit next to the Hyndburn Brook, and is perhaps a good reason for them not to be functioning anymore. The site is now used by the local farmer for Sunday clay pigeon shooting.

The site from Clayton Fields.


Industrial Rishton by Kathleen Broderick.

Rishton Urban District Council Minutes.