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Environment Agency response to recent incident at Fleetwood Wastewater Treatment Works

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Environment Agency, water

There has been ongoing media interest in the repair works taking place at Fleetwood Wastewater Treatment Works, after a pipe which carries cleaned and treated water 5km out to sea fractured within the grounds of the plant.

United Utilities is continuing to work around the clock to return the wastewater treatment works to full operation and get the engineering fix in place.

The Environment Agency is working with local partners to respond to this incident.

The Environment Agency is:

  • Advising local authorities so they can make decisions on public heath, including decisions on their role to inform the public about closed bathing waters;
  • Publishing advisory information on Swimfo. The latest advice on bathing can be found on this website;
  • Taking water quality samples in the affected waters as part of our ongoing investigation into this incident;
  • Working closely with United Utilities to ensure a solution is put in place as soon as possible, providing ongoing advice and guidance to help minimise adverse environmental impacts; and
  • Continuing to monitor the weather forecast for further periods of heavy rain, in order to anticipate potential impacts to the sewage system. This monitoring informs our planning and incident response, as well as assisting United Utilities in determining possible impacts to their network.

Community Information Officers (CIOs) are also at the affected bathing waters and available to talk to people about our role in managing this incident. More widely, Environment Agency staff are on the ground across the whole of Cumbria and Lancashire area, working to clear debris from screens and culvert entrances on watercourses to reduce flood risk in the event of further inclement weather; and to respond to environmental impacts from the extended recent overall dry and warm weather.

While bathing is currently advised against, the beaches along the Fylde Coast remain open. The Environment Agency is continuing to regularly monitor water quality along the coast to help inform decisions about when the current advice against bathing can be removed.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said:

As part of the multi-agency response we are working closely with United Utilities to minimise the impacts to people and the environment, which is our priority.

Polluting our seas and rivers is unacceptable and we are carrying out a detailed investigation into this incident. We take tough action against those who pollute and will take appropriate enforcement action, as required.

We urge beach users to follow local information and signage, and to visit the Swimfo website to access further information.

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  1. Comment by Gerry Bruen posted on

    Since wastewater is being dumped on my local beach and the children are unable to swim there because of that in this hot summer weather, I'm just wondering why I'm still going to be billed throughout this technical failure for waste-water treatment? Either the water is being treated/dumped elsewhere. Or it isn't. If it isn't. Then what are we paying UU for at the moment? Thanks.