Major pipe to help improve bathing waters

The pipeline, pictured here in Holyhead, Wales, measures more than 1km in length
The pipeline, pictured here in Holyhead, Wales, measures more than 1km in length
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It’s a kilometre long, weighs more than 2,000 tonnes and in keeping with its new home, looks like the world’s biggest stick of rock.

The new weapon in the battle for better bathing waters is due to be dragged by boat from Holyhead in Anglesey to South Shore this week.

In order to deliver better bathing water for Blackpool, we need to think big – and it really doesn’t get much bigger than this new outfall pipe.

Steve Wong

The giant outfall pipe will act as a relief valve for Blackpool’s sewer network during periods of heavy rain.

The pipe is part of a wider, £100m investment programme by United Utilities to improve Fylde coast bathing waters and modernise the clean water network.

Steve Wong, United Utilities stakeholder manager said: “In order to deliver better bathing water for Blackpool, we need to think big – and it really doesn’t get much bigger than this new outfall pipe.

“Although on an enormous scale, this project relies on precision engineering, and has taken a team of world-leading experts more than five years to plan this project, and get us to this point.

“At twice the length of the existing outfall, it will mean that when the towns sewers do get overwhelmed in storm conditions, the excess water will be sent further out to sea, allowing it to be heavily diluted and keeping coastal waters cleaner.”

The pipe, which was manufactured in Norway in two pieces, has been in Holyhead for the past few weeks, where giant concrete rings have been fitted around it.

These will ensure the pipe sinks, and settles in to a specially built trench in the seabed off the coastline.

It will take a team of expert engineers six weeks to secure the pipe in its new underwater home.

Mr Wong added: “As you’d expect, settling a one kilometre, 2,000 tonne pipe into a new trench along the seabed is no easy task – but once the pipe in place, it will become a key component of a more modern and resilient sewer network for Blackpool, which will help to deliver cleaner bathing waters.”