Laxey and Baldrine to Share Sewage Works

Manx Utilities has announced it intends to build a single sewage treatment works for Laxey and Baldrine.

This update takes another small step towards ending raw sewage being pumped into Manx seas. 

At a board meeting last month, Manx Utilities agreed that the best solution for Garff, as well as Peel, would be for regional treatment works, bringing a final hammer down on any lingering consideration of the long abandoned IRIS project being the answer.

The authority said that the local solutions, similar to those found around much of the north and west of the island, are the best solution ‘in terms of both cost and quality’.


In a statement relating to Garff, Manx Utilities said: ‘Exact details of preferred sites will not be released until we have completed all of the governance necessary to acquire the sites we need as we have a duty of care to safeguard anyone we may be in discussion with. 

‘The project team can confirm that in Garff the preferred solution is for a single treatment works to serve both Laxey and Baldrine at a location between the two villages. As such there are no plans for anything other than pumping stations at either the Cairn site or on the Glen Garwick estate. Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided but will have minimal impact on the surrounding areas.’

All of these plans remain subject to planning and we don’t have any further detail on Peel. 

A Problem As Old as the Titanic

Long-term fans of the Laxey sewage problems will know that currently it is pumped out into the bay after passing through a system devised by the local authority in 1912. What does this have to do with the Titanic you may wonder? Well, to be honest, nothing, I just thought it would break things up a little bit by adding some historical context. 

In 2020, Manx Utilities submitted plans for treatment works on the chalet site at Breeze Hill. To say these weren’t popular with locals would be an understatement. From the new bridge that would be needed to service it, concerns of smells near Laxey’s glorious beach, the general look of the planned works and the image of a wagon having to drive up and down Minorca Hill to remove sludge, the residents of the old mining village weren’t having any of it. 

When the plans were rejected, campaigner and businessman Alan Clague said it was a ‘victory’ for the people of Laxey.