Engineers going underground to boost water quality at tributary

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A multi-million pound project to create a vast new underground storm water storage tank is underway in Atherton in the UK.
The new tank will play an important role in helping United Utilities improve water quality in nearby Collier Brook, a tributary of the River Glaze and the Mersey, by reducing the need for sewers to overflow in times of heavy rainfall.
The project, which is located in Vulcan Foundry Park, is part of United Utilities’ wider commitment to improving 184km of waterways and coastal waters across the region during next two years.
When complete, the giant tank will be 15 metres wide and 10 metres deep and hold 1,450,000 litres of water – more than the capacity of 16,000 baths.
The £5.4 million (€6.2 million) project is expected to be completed by early 2024.
Project manager Mark Graham explained: “The combination of population growth and climate change puts extra pressure on sewer systems which have to cope with a mixture of rainfall and waste from homes and businesses. More people, more development and a warmer, wetter climate means there is more rainfall entering the system.”
The project begins as United Utilities launches a ‘Stop the Block’ campaign in neighbouring Leigh which has seen more than 200 preventable sewer blockages – caused by either wet wipes, or a build-up of fatty food waste - in the past 12 months.
He added: “Here at United Utilities we are committed to working alongside communities to create improved river health for all and this is something we can all support by helping to keep sewers clear of blockages caused by wet wipes and fats, oil and grease being flushed and poured away.

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