Pollution Alert On St. Anne’s Beaches After United Utilities Release Untreated Sewage

There is a very important pollution alert along our Fylde Coast after United Utilities released untreated sewage into sea during last night’s storm (12th June).  Not only should people not swim, bathe or go into the water, but also animals should be kept out of the water.

This comes as United Utilities admitted that during last night’s storm untreated sewage, mixed with rainwater, was released into the sea. This, they say, was due to United Utilities’ sites in Blackpool reaching full capacity whilst repairs are being carried out to a burst pipe at Fleetwood wastewater treatment works.  Nearly 40mm of rain fell in around two hours last night (12th June) which meant the system temporarily reached its maximum capacity.

A Statement says, ‘Please be advised not to swim or bathe in the water at St. Anne’s and St. Anne’s North beaches until further notice.’

Blackpool Council and Wyre Council are also advising against swimming until further notice at:

  • Blackpool South
  • Blackpool Central,
  • Blackpool North
  • Bispham
  • Cleveleys
  • Fleetwood

More information can be found on United Utilities website:

United Utilities say they are carrying out urgent repair work to a burst pipe which carries water after it has been treated and cleaned from Fleetwood wastewater treatment works. The treatment works is currently running on a reduced rate while engineers plan and carry out the repair work to the pipe, which lies nine metres underground. Around 2,000 metres of temporary pumps and overland pipework is being installed and storage levels in the wastewater network along the Fylde Coast are being balanced.

Mark Garth, wastewater director at United Utilities, said: ‘This is a very unusual incident and our teams are working around the clock to minimise any impact on the environment. The burst occurred on a large pipe which is deep underground, making the repair 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 map below is dated 13th June and is from

All other featured photographs are for illustrative purposes and do not represent last night’s sewage discharge onto our beaches.


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