North Yorkshire: Water firm tries to cut risk to marine wildlife as damaged sewer pipe spills waste onto beach and into sea

Workers are carrying out emergency repair work to a damaged sewer pipe which is spilling waste onto the beach and into the North Sea at Saltburn.

Redcar and Saltburn beach. Picture Bruce Rollinson
Redcar and Saltburn beach. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Northumbria Water (NW) said the pipe, which carries sewage from Saltburn to Marske for treatment, had been damaged by a third party working in Cat Nab Car Park, next to Skelton Beck.

The water company said major repairs were required, which could take days. The area has been cordoned off by Redcar and Cleveland Council.

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Tankers will be running continuously to the car park to try and reduce the volume of the spill.

NW said they were unable to stop the flow through the pipe to prevent homes from sewer flooding.

The pipe can carry up to 200 litres a second, but not all is escaping through the hole and the tankering and straw bales which have been put in the beck to collect debris should help, NW said.

The firm said: “The pipe is spilling through the ground into Skelton Beck, mixing with the water and becoming diluted. This is then being washed into the sea, adding significant further levels of dilution.

“There will be some sewage in this and it’s not pleasant.”

They said the Environment Agency understood that they were doing everything they can to minimise the risk to marine wildlife, adding: “We do not see a risk to public health.”