VIDEO: The two-mile-long 'superpipe' heading across the sea to Anchorsholme
A massive new pipe measuring over two miles long will be arriving off the coast of Anchorsholme later today, ready to be installed in a huge trench under the sea.
The pipe’s journey started off from a Norwegian fjord in May this year.
It was towed in six sections by ship to Lough Foyle in Northern Ireland, where it has since been assembled into one long pipe with special concrete collars like giant cable clips.
Filled with air to keep it afloat, the 20,000 tonne pipe left Ireland on Saturday afternoon, pulled across the Irish Sea with an escort of 4 ships.
It is expected to arrive later this afternoon, with preparation work being carried out by workers throughout the night.
Work on the beach and off-shore will then get underway tomorrow morning, a United Utilities spokesman told The Gazette.
The pipe’s final installation by the water firm will take place across the road from the company’s on-going project at Anchorsholme Park – part of an overall Â£200m investment to improve Blackpool’s bathing waters.
The huge outfall pipe, the largest in the UK, will be used during periods of heavy rain to pump storm water away from the sewer network – preventing flooding of properties, and ensuring the water mixes far out into the sea helping to protect bathing waters.
Engineers from United Utilities have had a presence above and below ground at Anchorsholme Park since 2015.
Work has included a new 30-metre deep storm tank, and a new pumping station which will have the capacity to pump 14 tonnes of water per second through the massive new outfall pipe.
Stephanie Wyatt from LOVEmyBEACH said: “The work taking place here will help improve the quality of the Fylde coasts bathing waters even further.
"Twenty years ago only 18 per cent of the north west’s bathing waters met minimum standards.
"In 2016 this figure was 100 per cent."
Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s environment boss, added: “The improvement to Blackpool’s bathing water quality over the last five years has been phenomenal, resulting in cleaner seas, better conditions for marine wildlife and even a coveted Blue Flag.
“Improving sea water quality isn’t just about giant pipes and new storage tanks though, the public need to do their bit to keep our beaches clean, such as picking up their litter, cleaning up after their dogs, and only putting the rights things down the toilet and drains.”
United Utilities' work will be finished in 2019 and Anchorsholme Park will be reopened in 2020.