Mass pollution alert after sewage released into sea from Fleetwood to St Annes

Heavy rainfall led to pollution alerts spanning the whole of the Fylde coast after sewage was discharged into the sea to prevent flooding at nearby water treatment centres.

By Wes Holmes
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 4:55 am

Discharges occurred in eight places across the Fylde coast: Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Bispham, Blackpool North, Blackpool Central, Blackpool South, St Annes North and St Annes on Friday.

Further discharges took place in Morecambe, Southport, and Walney Sandy Gap, Walney Biggar Bank and Walney West Shore in Barrow-in-Furness.

A spokesman for water company United Utilities said: “During periods of heavy rain, when sewers and treatment plants are operating at full capacity, water companies are permitted to spill excess storm water from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) to help prevent the flooding of streets, homes and businesses.”

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Pollution in the sea at St Annes

Last month, the Government issued a pollution warning at St Annes North beach after sewage was pumped into the sea following a similar period of heavy rain.

Three separate discharges were recorded on May 4, 6 and 17.

According to the DEFRA, bathing water quality at Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Blackpool Central, Blackpool South and St Annes is ‘good’.

Blackpool North and St Annes North are ‘sufficient’, and Bispham is ‘excellent’.

United Utilities said: “Over the past twenty years, United Utilities has invested £1.2bn improving sewer overflows to improve CSOs and reduce the amount and impact of spills. United Utilities has committed to reduce the number of spills from storm overflows by at least a third, between 2020 and 2025. This will be supported through a £230m investment programme at sites across the region, leading to 184km of improved waterway.”