RIVERS and coastline near Ulverston are set for a cleaner, greener future due to major plans unveiled this week.

Water company United Utilities is looking to improve the town’s sewer network by building a new 17-metre deep underground storage tank beneath the town's Ellers allotments.

The scheme will also mean installing new sewer pipes in Morecambe Road and Lund Road.

Residents can find out more, and chat to engineers, at a public exhibition in the anteroom at Ulverston's Coronation Hall on County Road on Thursday between 3pm and 7pm.

Project manager Paul Romanko said Ulverston's sewers worked well, but like all systems were fitted with overflow pipes to prevent them backing up during very heavy rains.

"In Ulverston, we have a storm overflow that goes into Town Beck and ultimately the Leven Estuary. Although it's an important safety mechanism, building the tank means we need to use it less often, so we can keep local rivers, coastline and shellfish beds as clean and healthy as possible."

Subject to planning permission, engineers hope to start work in spring 2013. It will take them about a year to complete the work.

"The finished tank will be hold an extra 1,425 cubic metres of dirty storm water which might otherwise have found its way into the beck and out to sea. Instead, the water will be stored safely until the rain subsides and then pumped out to the company’s treatment works to be cleaned.

"We're doing work like this all along the Cumbria coast at the moment to clean up our rivers and seas and make sure our networks can cope with changing weather patterns. Similar schemes are taking place at Grange, Arnside, Millom and in Barrow," said Mr Romanko.

"We know this kind of work can cause disruption so we're keen to tell people all about what we're planning and how we intend to make it as easy as possible on them. For instance, we have been liaising closely with Ulverston Town Council to minimise the impact on allotment holders.

"Although a small number of allotment plots will be affected at The Ellers, we have already started supporting the council to create substantially more new plots and an orchard at nearby Dragley Beck Allotments."

United Utilities' sewer work is not linked to the flood risk management project which is being proposed for Ulverston by the Environment Agency, and is not designed to reduce flooding.

However, it will reduce the amount of water getting into Town Beck from the sewers in heavy rains. The two organisations are working together to make sure the impact of the two schemes on local people is kept to a minimum