A Lancashire abattoir will save 4500 a week after creating 10 ponds and lagoons to purify its waste water.

Rose County Foods, part of the Irish meat processor Dunbia, put the bulldozers to work in over 8ha (20 acres) of land surrounding the plant to create a reed-bed water treatment system.

Last week saw the first of the company’s dirty water trickle into the primary lagoon as Environment Agency staff granted persmission for the process to start. In coming months more of the company’s waste water will be fed into the system.

Stan Ayrton of Rose County Foods, who has overseen the project, says he’s been amazed at the influx of birds and wildlife even though the water levels are still low.

“Two other sites owned by the company in Ireland have had similar systems installed. Here in Lancashire we’ve created a wildlife haven as well as making big savings on dirty water disposal.”

The contractors who undertook the work have also installed reed-bed treatment systems to cope with yard and parlour washings from dairy farms in Ireland.