Water project set to start

Winter weather at Christmas on the Fylde Coast.  Mirrorball in South Shore.
Winter weather at Christmas on the Fylde Coast. Mirrorball in South Shore.
  • As beaches are facing new “stringent bathing water laws, a £100m project to improve the sewer network on the Fylde coast is already well underway
  • Now a new contractor has been brought in
  • Work will help to reduce pollutants reaching beaches
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Bathing water improvement works are set to move to a new phase in Blackpool after a key appointment.

United Utilities has signed up J Murphy and Sons to design and build the replacement of the Harrowside Outfall in South Beach near the Mirrorball.

The project, which started on site in May 2015, is part of United Utilities’ £100m project to improve the sewer network along the Fylde coast over the next five years.

It will see the existing 70-year-old wastewater pipe being replaced with a plastic one and its length extended to 1.2km out into the sea.

Lengthening the pipe will allow the storm water it collects to disperse further out to sea during extreme weather and help to reduce pollutants reaching the beaches.

The work will be carried out by Murphy’s subsidiary company Land and Marine.

Brian Sharp, United Utilities senior project manager for Harrowside, said: “This year, bathing waters will be judged for the first time against the new stringent European bathing water laws.

“All of Fylde’s bathing waters passed the previous standards so we’ve come a long way in improving water quality but the stricter directive means we all need to do more.

“United Utilities is absolutely committed to playing its part and investing in the area to help further clean up the sea off the coast of Blackpool.

“We look forward to working with Murphy and Land & Marine to support us in delivering this significant contract”.

Andrew Ball, Land and Marine managing director, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, which is testament to the skills and experience of our marine personnel.

“With a vast experience of delivering projects of this nature, we look forward to working with United Utilities and all other stakeholders to successfully deliver the Harrowside works”.

The water company held a series of events in January to explain the works along the coast to members of the public.

They are also looking at putting in a new storm water holding tank, possibly at Fishers Field, which can store large volumes of excess storm water in times of heavy rainfall.

This would then be returned to the sewer for treatment when the rain stops thus further improving quality.