Woolacombe Bay – Rigging the Sunset
If you stare out to sea at Woolacombe Bay over the next few weeks you may be forgiven for doing a double take. After all it’s not often that a rig half the size of a football pitch can be seen bobbing up and down on the Atlantic. So why is it there? Surely we haven’t struck oil in North Devon?
Surprisingly enough, South West Water and their contractors Sea Core are the driving force behind this massive oceanic installation, which has been anchored in Woolacombe as part of a £1.2 million scheme to extend the sewage outfall pipe into the bay. The scheme is taking place in conjunction with work to improve the operational capacity and appearance of Woolacombe Sewage Pumping Station.
SWW extending the outfall pipe at Woolacombe bay
Woolacombe Bay is currently one of Devon's most spectacular blue flag beaches, popular with tourists and surfers alike. The existing outfall pipe discharges treated effluent into the sea but the end of the pipe is often visible during low tides. The aim of the current scheme is to extend the outfall pipe by a further 80 metres, so that it will remain underwater and out of sight, no matter how feeble the tide.
The reason South West Water has decided to employ a rig of this magnitude, is because the Company would like to complete this scheme by the end of February, a time of year prone to turbulent weather conditions and dramatic seas. The bigger the rig the more weather it can withstand, resulting in fewer delays for everyone involved.
The work South West Water are currently undertaking at both the pumping station and the outfall in Woolacombe, is designed to improve the bathing water quality and the appearance of the area; so that this stunning and popular beach can confidently maintain its blue flag status and the sanctity of its sunset.
Published: 15 February 2006
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