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United Utilities works in Anchorsholme Park to improve bathing waters

Anchorsholme Park

Anchorsholme - United Utilities Wastewater Works

Work is underway at Anchorsholme Park and the seafront to improve wastewater facilities

A major construction project is taking place in Anchorsholme Park to help to manage wastewater and improve bathing water quality.

Delivery of the Outfall Pipe

The massive new outfall pipe measuring over 2 miles long was delivered to the beach at Blackpool on 8/9 August 2017.

This video clip shows you how it was floated to Blackpool.

Click on the photo below to watch this video of how the pipe was prepared for delivery (opens in Vimeo in a new window)

Anchorsholme outfall pipe update video

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More about the Superpipe

The 2 mile long pipe was floated 220 miles across the sea from Northern Ireland.

It took 4 years of planning, and weighs 20,000 tonnes - transportation and installation alone has needed the expertise of around 100 people.

It's roughly the same length as 25 Blackpool Towers are tall, or 12.5 of ‘The Shards’.

Many thanks to Geoff Haw for these photos taken at 7am on Wednesday 8 August 2017, the pipe having been floated to shore on the high tide over night.

United Utilities superpipe being put in place in Blackpool

United Utilities superpipe being installed in Blackpool

United Utilities superpipe being installed in Blackpool

This amazing feat of engineering took place on the beach and in the sea, just across the road from United Utilities on-going project at Anchorsholme Park, which is part of an overall £200m investment to help continue the improvements of Blackpool bathing waters.

The photos below are of the pipe being fabricated in Ireland.





How the outfall pipe will be floated to Anchorsholme

Concrete collars for weighting and protecting the pipe
Concrete collars which are used to weight and protect the pipe

Pipestring with concrete collars attached
Pipestring with concrete collars attached

The supersize outfall pipe is an important part of United Utilities work to enhance the sewer network in Blackpool and will be used during periods of heavy rain to pump storm water away from the sewer network.

This will not only help prevent flooding of properties, but with the storm water being pumped so far out into sea, it will help to protect bathing waters.

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 pipes, are just some of the major engineering activities taking place, which will help protect Blackpool’s Blue Flag beach.

United Utilities work will be finished in 2019 and a completely revamped Anchorsholme Park will be re-opened in 2020, boasting a new bowling club, a café, outdoor seating area, children’s playground, sports area with tennis courts and a trim trail.

More about the Pumping Station & Outfall Pipe

Project Number 80040279 phase 2

Phase 1 of the works in Anchorsholme Park to build a storage tank has now been completed (see how that was built below) and now United Utilities are carrying out the major works in the park to build a new pumping station and replace the outfall pipe in the sea.

Aerial photo of Anchorsholme showing United Utilities works, by Paul Smith
Aerial photo of Anchorsholme showing United Utilities works, with thanks to Paul Smith. Taken June 2017

Outfall Pipe

At 4.5km the new Long Sea Outfall pipe is much longer than the existing one. Excess storm water will be discharged through that and out to sea - after being screened in the new pumping station.

Laying a new outfall pipe under the sea is a complicated process and you'll see plenty of activity on the shoreline while this work is going on.

A trenching vessel has been carrying out dredging works as part of this process, you can see it in action in these clips below, along with a cofferdam structure which has been built on the beach, so that the engineering works can take place. A new ramp has been built adjacent to the boating club house from where the engineers can access the beach safely.

Dredging Vessel working at Anchorsholme for the new United Utilities outfall pipe

Two lines of sheet piles have been installed on the beach and the area within them will be excavated in preparation for the pipe.

The work on the beach has to be completed working with the tides, and requires working in the early hours of the morning and into the late evening.

Sheet piles on Anchorsholme beach where theLong Sea Outfall pipe will be installed

The new pipe left Stathelle in Norway in early May, bound for Loch Foyle in Northern Ireland where it will be fitted with concrete weights before heading to the beach to be installed this Summer.  The new Long Sea Outfall pipe is expected to arrive in August.

New outfall pipe for Anchorsholme being manufactured

Pumping Station

Behind the green boards in Anchorsholme Park a new underground pumping station is being built which is intended to replace the facility currently located under the headland at the end of Anchorsholme Lane West.

Anchorsholme Promenade with United Utilities works ongoing in the park

This station is in need of repair and currently unable to be replaced in the existing location due to lack of space. Design parameters have changed since it was built and United Utilities would be unable to build and operate in this current location safely.

The new pumping station will include new structures which will enable United Utilities to screen and control the water that flows through it.

A shaft which forms part of the new pumping station is being sunk by installing concrete rings and excavating the earth from inside it which enables it to sink below ground.

Plan of United Utilities Works in Anchorsholme Park BlackpoolPlan of United Utilities Works in Anchorsholme Park during Pase 2 - Pumping Station and Outfall Pipe Works.

Find out more about United Utilities works in Anchorsholme Park

Storage Tank in Anchorsholme Park

The first phase of the United Utilities works in Anchorsholme Park to build a massive underground storage tank took about 18 months and is now complete.

They have built a huge concrete storage tank, 30m deep with a 30m diameter (that's over 90' both ways) the purpose of which is to store sewage and stormwater at periods of heavy rainfall, rather than having no choice but to discharge it out to sea.

This tank holds the storm water until the weather event has passed, then it's passed to the sewage works at Fleetwood to be treated. When we say that it's a big tank we're not exagerating - it can hold the equivalent of five Olympic sized swimming pools of water!

How the tank was built

Watch this excellent aerial video footage from our friend Quadographer13 which takes you through the whole process of how the tank has been constructed.

It's all part of the work which is going on on the Fylde Coast to clean up our seas, and which has already led to Blackpool South beach winning its first ever blue flag. 

Find out more about Anchorsholme Park here

Building the Tank

These photos of the storage tank which is being constructed by United Utilities in Anchorsholme Park are also from Quadographer13. Watch the video above which also explains how the tank was built.

Anchorsholme Park before works started
Anchorsholme Park before works started

Sheet piles in place and concrete rings added from the top
Sheet piles in place and concrete rings added from the top

United Utilities storage tank under construction in Anchorsholme Park

Construction of storage tank at Anchorsholme Park

Concrete tank completed
Concrete tank completed

Roof added to the concrete sewage storage tank in Anchorsholme Park
Roof added to the concrete sewage storage tank in Anchorsholme Park

Concrete sewage storage tank in Anchorsholme Park, now buried
Concrete sewage storage tank in Anchorsholme Park, now buried (photo: July 2016)

In times of heavy rainfall, the sewer system was unable to deal with the demands this large influx of rainfall. Due to the urban nature of the local area (many areas are developed with housing, business parks, retail parks and car parks) much of the rainfall is unable to soak away naturally.

This rainwater enters the sewer system and is mixed with the contents creating stormwater. When the local treatment works becomes unable to deal with the massive but temporary increase in flows, they are forced to deal with the excess.

Volumes can be stored to be treated later, and in the worst cases, they can discharge to sea a limited number of times over the course of a year.

In order for United Utilities to meet new tighter bathing water standards, they have built this tank to store more of this excess to be treated later.

The Park after works are complete...

The park will be closed until the end of the project in 2020.

It's a big civil engineering project and the site must be kept safe, it's also being used to store materials used during construction and soil which has been dug up so that it can be used at the end of the works to redevelop the park and improve facilities.

United Utilities and Blackpool Council commissioned a report from an independent organisation to carry out surveys of park users and other local groups to help designers determine the plan for redeveloping the park after the works have finished.

The findings from this report were incorporated into the design which has been submitted for planning consent.

Find out More

Find out more about United Utilities works in Anchorsholme Park

Find out more about Anchorsholme Park here

The sea defence works at Anchorsholme, which are now complete, were a separate, unrelated project. 

Find out about Anchorsholme Sea Defences here


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