Northumbrian Water will soon begin work on John Street, Cullercoats, to install a new pipe as a new measure to reduce contamination in Cullercoats Bay and the surrounding areas.

The Environment Agency has advised against swimming and bathing in Cullercoats Bay since 2017  and has labelled the water quality as “poor”. 

Also in 2017, North Tyneside council, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water conducted a joint investigation into the declining water quality. Following the investigation sewage was identified as the “major” contributing factor.

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In 2021, according to the Environment Agency, 26 pollution risk warnings were issued for Cullercoats Bay area alone.

Cullercoats councillor, Willie Samuel said: “I am delighted this work is taking place. We are now very optimistic this will resolve the ongoing problem of contamination in Cullercoats Bay.”

A Northumbrian Water spokesperson said: “With work set to begin on the installation of a new drainage pipe in Cullercoats, people living nearby are being given a chance to find out more.

“Northumbrian Water has written to customers who live in the John Street area, inviting them to meet members of the project team to discuss any impact the work may have on them.

“The water company is working in partnership with North Tyneside Council on the project to install the new underground pipe. This is to divert a known source of contaminated groundwater water from a disused local authority culvert into the combined sewer network, to see if that has a positive effect on the sea water quality.

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“The project was a recommendation from the Bathing Water Study that the water company completed earlier this year.

“Investigations carried out by Northumbrian Water, North Tyneside Council and the Environment Agency since 2017 have shown no evidence of the water company’s assets being a primary cause for the deterioration in bathing water quality. Contaminated groundwater is likely to be the primary cause.

“The water company’s supply partners, Esh-Civils, will be undertaking the design and construction of this project. Work is expected to begin in November and be completed by Christmas”.

In response to the news the Cullercoats Collective said: “We are happy to hear that progress is being made on improving the water quality in Cullercoats bay and hopefully starting the process that will see a blue flag given to the bay.   Thousands of people come to Cullercoats throughout the year to enjoy the area and all it has to offer.

“The local businesses that rely on people locally and from further afield choosing Cullercoats as a place to swim, paddle or just to visit is vital to our economy.  This proposed work is important in improving our local water system and making sure Cullercoats continues to be a great place for people to come to.

A drop in by Northumbrian Water, specifically for residents affected by the work, is scheduled to take place on September 21 2022 from 1pm until 4pm. 

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