Untreated sewage was released into the sea after the storm as people were told to stay away from Fylde beaches

People are being urged to stay away from beaches until further notice on the Fylde coast after raw sewage was pumped into the sea during a storm.

United Utilities says the ‘pollution incident’ saw the sewage, mixed with rainwater, released into the sea after a pipe burst on Monday 12 June.

It effects beaches across the Fylde coast and the councils are urging people to stay out of the sea and keep pets clear of the water.

The beaches affected include:

  • Bisham

  • Blackpool Central

  • Blackpool North

  • Blackpool South

  • Cleveleys beach

  • Fleetwood

  • St Annes

  • St. Annes North

Urgent repair works are being carried out to the burst pipe, which carries water after it has been treated at Fleetwood wastewater treatment plant works to the sea.

United Utilities says the treatment works is currently running at a reduced rate while engineers plan and carry out the repair work to the pipe, which lies nine meters underground.

Due to the location and complexity of the repair and to ensure the work is carried out safely, it is expected to take some time while engineers install temporary pumps and 2,000 meters of overland pipework.

United Utilities is balancing storage levels in the wastewater network along the Fylde Coast and using tankers around the clock to help reduce pressure on the site by transporting wastewater to other treatment sites.

Mark Garth, Wastewater Director, at United Utilities, said: “This is a very unusual incident and our teams are working around the clock to minimize any impact on the environment.

“The burst occurred on a large pipe which is deep underground, making repairs complex and challenging.

“We are installing temporary overland pipework to bypass the burst pipe so that the treatment plant can continue to operate while the repair work is carried out.

“The reduced capacity at the treatment works and in our network as a result of this burst meant there was less storage available than normal to deal with the heavy rainfall last night. This resulted in storm overflows operating.

“We are working closely with the Environment Agency and local councils as we respond to this.”

The ‘swimfo’ website is showing a warning for beaches on the Fylde coast credits: Swimfo

Information on all 424 designated bathing water sites and any forecasted drops in water quality are published on the Swimfo: Find a Bathing Water website.

This provides immediate access to information on every bathing water in England.

Construction of the temporary overland pipework means that the neighboring Fleetwood Marsh Nature Reserve is sadly closed to the public until further notice.

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