£35m water works boost for bathers

Looking North over Hardhorn and Poulton towards the River Wyre and Shard Bridge
Looking North over Hardhorn and Poulton towards the River Wyre and Shard Bridge
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WATER board bosses have unveiled a £35m scheme to improve Blackpool’s bathing waters.

In May, waters off the Fylde coast were labelled a “potential health hazard” after failing to meet European standards.

But United Utilities today vowed to do its bit with a new treatment works – the size of five football pitches – on the banks of the River Wyre.


At the height of its construction there are expected to be around 100 engineers working on the site, off Shard Lane, Hambleton.

The key purpose of the development is to reduce the spill of untreated storm water into the River Wyre which feeds into the sea.

The water company said the proposed works would deliver “significant improvements” to the quality of water returned to the environment, which will benefit the River Wyre and beaches along the Fylde coast.

Its plans will be showcased at the River Wyre Hotel next Tuesday.

Rob Tidswell, United Utilities’ catchment manager for the area, said, “This scheme is necessary to assist in helping the Environment Agency in meeting European standards for bathing waters around the Fylde, which is very important to tourism and local business.

“We’re keen for local residents to come along on the day and chat with us so we can show the plans, discuss our ideas and gain feedback to allow us to complete the designs prior to planning submission.”

The water firm said tough new European standards coming in 2015 means treated water returned to the Irish Sea from areas of Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester has to be of better standard.

The work, if approved, is expected to start late 2012.

People are welcome to attend the hotel between 2pm and 7pm.

Anyone who cannot get to the exhibition can call United Utilities on 0845 746 2200, quoting project reference number 80021256.

A Marine Conservation Society spokesman said: “We would welcome anything water companies do which helps the situation.

“As a seaside destination it is essential action is taken.”