Project update: Frustration as 'superpipe' remains grounded

Work to install the pipe at Anchorsholme
Work to install the pipe at Anchorsholme
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Engineers are hoping a two-mile long outfall pipe  will finally be put in place on Blackpool seafront  next month.

Bad weather has so far delayed work to fit the pipe which was delivered in August.

The huge conduit is part of United Utilities’ £200m scheme to upgrade the quality of the bathing water.

It is being fitted on the seafront opposite Anchorsholme Park.

A fleet of 14 boats was involved in transporting the ‘superpipe’, which weighs 20,000 tonnes, on pontoons from Loch Foyle in Northern Ireland.

It is reckoned to be the largest single man-made structure ever to have been transported like this in the UK.

More than 100 people were involved in its transportation, which took four years of planning.

The investment is part of a five year scheme to improve the sewage infrastructure .

Work also includes constructing a 30 metre deep storm tank and relocating the pumping station from the headland to the park.

During severe weather, the new stormwater tank will fill up, and the pumping station will pump the extra stormwater from the sewers out to sea through the new outfall pipe.

Because the pipe is so long, it will take the stormwater much further out than previously.

A spokesman for United Utilities said: “The pipe remains safe on the seabed with work continuing to re-position the pipe into the remaining section of the trench, near to the end of the cofferdam.

“Our aim is to have the pipe in its final position by early October, but any inclement weather may slow this activity down.”