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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Millions of pounds to help clean up Allonby beach

Millions of pounds are being spent on a scheme to help clean up Allonby beach.

Last year the stretch of coast failed to meet standards set by both Defra and the Environment Agency on the quality of its bathing water.

Now United Utilities has revealed that they will upgrade the village’s sewer system to help boost the environment and tourism.

The water company will start work on the project next year to increase the capacity of both the pipes and the sewage works.

This will involve the closure of the main beach car park for eight weeks from March. The contract is out to tender and the exact amount to be spent will be known at the end of that process in November.

Next Tuesday a public exhibition will be held in Allonby Village Hall between 3pm and 7pm.

Matt Steer is project managing the work.

He said: “This is really important work for Allonby and its visitors. As well as vastly reducing the chances of storm water spilling into the sea in the bathing season, we’ll also support the growing tourist industry.

“Allonby beach failed its bathing water standards last year. Although the sewer system was only a small part of the problem, we want to make sure we’re doing everything in our power to stop it happening again.”

The project is part of a wider programme of work being carried out by the water company across Cumbria. Two years ago, the firm built a huge £13m storm water storage tank at Maryport, which has already helped improve bathing water quality in places like Allonby.

The work will involve replacing 180m of existing sewer under Allonby beach with a larger diameter pipe.

The extension of the sewage works will allow United Utilities to build extra storage capacity to reduce the likelihood of spills to the sea. Extra ultraviolet treatment will also be installed to zap bacteria in any spills that do occur.

Mr Steer added: “This is a really important environmental project but we are really sorry we’ll need to work on the beach. We want to reduce the disruption as much as we can so we’d love to hear people’s views.

“Unfortunately we can’t work on the beach during winter because it would affect over-wintering birds.”

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