Burst sewer affects Whitehaven harbour

Visitors to Whitehaven harbour are being warned to expect some disruption after a sewer burst on West Strand yesterday evening.

The burst caused some damage to the road and has resulted in temporary access arrangements at the West Strand Marina and car park, Old New Quay car park and The Beacon Museum.

Workers from United Utilities took immediate action to alert the Coastguard as wastewater escaped into the harbour from the burst pipe.  The company also liaised with the Environment Agency, the police, Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners and Copeland Council.

Initial repair work in the early hours of Friday morning revealed that the pipe, which normally carries wastewater from the local pumping station up to Whitehaven treatment works, is encased in concrete.

United Utilities area business manager Andrew Kendall said: “We would have continued repair work last night except that the drilling needed to get through the concrete would have been very noisy and disruptive for local residents.

“We took the decision to stop work at 3am and continue this morning.  We’ll continue to liaise with Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners and Copeland Council to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and minimise any disruption in the harbour area over the weekend.”

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland said: “While there may be some changes to parking in these areas over the weekend, the Taste Cumbria festival will go ahead as expected and we are looking forward to the big event.

“We would like to thank United Utilities for their quick response and assure the public that the matter will be dealt with as quickly as possible.”

A temporary access road was made for residents in nearby apartments and it is still possible to use West Strand car park, the West Strand marina, Old New Quay car park and the Beacon Museum. Drivers and pedestrians are asked to take care and observe the signs showing the new access route.