The existing WWTP has been located in Cowley Road since 1895, serving the Cambridge catchment. The extent of this catchment includes areas currently connected and unconnected to the sewerage system. Connected areas are those connected to AWS sewerage network and drain to the WWTP for treatment. Unconnected areas within the catchment are currently without sewerage but have the potential to become connected to the sewerage network within the Cambridge catchment. This could happen as the result of a successful application to AWS first-time sewerage programme (under section 101A Water Industry Act 1991) or as a result of growth.

The WWTP occupies approximately 40 hectares of land to the south of the A14 and between Cambridge Science Park to the west and Cambridge North Station to the east. Beyond the railway is the River Cam,  to which treated effluent from the WWTP is discharged via a discharge point. The discharge is regulated by the Environment Agency.

The WWTP comprises waste water treatment processes (Cambridge WRC) and an integrated sludge treatment centre (Cambridge STC). The Cambridge STC integrates both sludge treating components and combined heat and a power plant (CHP) into the overall waste water treatment process. These elements form the WWTP. Waste water is received at the WWTP from the Cambridge catchment sewerage network at its inlet works. From this point, the waste material and foul water are subjected to several processes to produce treated water and residual material that is capable of being safely returned to the wider environment. Treated water is returned to the River Cam at the discharge point. Residual material, in the form of biosolids and methane, are used in in agriculture or used to power the WWTP or exported to the electricity grid.