£5 million bathing water scheme

20.11.2014

A £5 million programme of work to improve Saltburn’s bathing water quality is to start next month.

The one-year, Northumbrian Water scheme will begin on Monday December 1 2014 and will involve upgrading sections of the sewer network in Guisborough, Tocketts Bridge and Dunsdale.

This work will significantly reduce the frequency and volume of spills to water courses from the sewer network, during times of heavy rainfall, and will make an improvement to the quality of water in local streams and rivers and also to sea water quality.

Residents from the areas in which the work is being carried out, and from Saltburn and surrounding areas, are invited to a customer information session being held by Northumbrian Water on Tuesday December 2 2014 at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council Offices, Belmont House, Rectory Lane, Guisborough, TS14 7DF between 5.00pm and 7.00pm.

Experts from Northumbrian Water and their contractor, Lumsden & Carroll Civil Engineering, will be on hand to give detailed information about the work and its impact on local communities and to answer any questions.

Graham Neave, Northumbrian Water’s operations director, said: "To identify the best solution to improve Saltburn’s bathing water quality, we have worked in partnership with the Environment Agency and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to carry out a three-year investigative study throughout the whole catchment of Skelton, Brotton, Boosbeck, Lingdale and Guisborough.

"Partnership working is vital as there are many sources of pollution which impact on Saltburn’s bathing water quality, including pollution in Skelton Beck, Saltburn Gill and Pit Hills Stell from cattle, sheep and pig farming, rainfall run-off and pollution from private sewage treatment works.

"This investment reflects our commitment to protecting our beautiful coastline and our understanding of the importance of the impact of North East beaches on tourism, the economy and the leisure industry in our region."

The work to improve bathing water quality at Saltburn is to be carried out at three sites.

An underground storm water storage tank, which will hold up to 6,000 cubic metres of storm water, is to be built on the former Guisborough sewage treatment works (STW) site. Storm water will be pumped to Marske STW for treatment, once the storm has passed. Work will begin in December 2014 and will take up to one year to complete. Construction traffic will access the site from the A171 via Middlesbrough Road and Roseberry Mount.

The pumping capacity at Tocketts Bridge pumping station is to be increased so more storm water can be transferred from Guisborough to Marske STW when it rains. Work on this site will begin in December 2014 and will take up to three months to complete. Construction traffic will access the site via the B1269.

The third phase of the scheme will involve work to transfer waste water from Dunsdale STW to Marske STW, where it will be treated and also disinfected with ultra violet light before being discharged to sea through the existing long sea outfall. Waste water which is treated at Dunsdale STW currently goes into Skelton Beck. More than 100 metres of new sewer pipe will be installed along a section of Redcar Road, along a section of the unnamed road which runs parallel to the gable end of 1 Redcar Road and in the farmer’s field to the rear of Redcar Road.

Northumbrian Water is hoping that this work will begin in late January 2015 and that it will take up to three months to complete. The water company will write to residents affected by this phase of work in the New Year.

Mr Neave continued: "Our £1 billion investment, over the last two decades, to improve bathing water quality is reflected in this year’s bathing water results recently announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – the North East’s results were the best in the country. 31 out of 34 beaches in our region, including Saltburn, met the current strictest European water quality standard.

"We are not complacent though. From 2015 tighter bathing water standards are to be introduced and Northumbrian Water is to invest more than £2 million to carry out investigation work to understand how bathing water quality can be further improved at various locations in the region."

The Environment Agency’s Julie Brooker said: "We have already helped improve bathing water quality at Saltburn by working with other organisations to halt the flow of polluted water from abandoned ironstone mines. This new project is another step forward in improving the cleanliness of the resort’s water to help meet stricter standards which come into force next year, and to ensure the area remains a great destination for people who enjoy our environment."

Cabinet Member for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Cllr Christopher Massey, said: "The Council has worked closely with Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency to find the right solutions to tackle the bathing water quality problem at Saltburn. The £5 million programme of works will improve the water quality and help meet the stricter bathing water standards due to be introduced next year. Saltburn is popular with locals and visitors and the quality of our bathing water is vital if we are to attract more visitors and develop what the town has to offer."

In 2011 Northumbrian Water was the first water company to have more than 90% of its bathing waters pass the current strictest European water quality standard, known as ‘guideline’.

Since 2000, Saltburn’s bathing water has achieved guideline or the lower water quality standard, ‘mandatory’, for eleven years. It has only failed the current European standards on just two occasions, in 2010 and 2012.

For further information, ring Northumbrian Water on 0345 717 1100 or tweet @nwater_care.

For further information contact Cara Charlton on 0191 301 6720.

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