Operation Blue Crab gets underway in Hunstanton and Wells

06 August 2018


Serious environmental message behind colourful crustaceans across town.

A seaside invasion of blue crabs will appear in Hunstanton and Wells from Wednesday this week, as staff from Anglian Water paint the colourful crustaceans on the seaside town’s kerbs and drain covers in order to highlight an important environmental message – be careful what you pour down the drain.


Surface water or ‘rain drains’ are designed to take excess rain water away from roads and pavements and put it directly out to sea. Unfortunately, any waste substances wrongly put down these drains could end up polluting our beautiful beaches.

Adam Worley, Anglian Water’s Coastal Catchment Manager, said:

“Sadly there have been some worrying examples where chemical  toilets and food waste has been wrongly emptied into our surface water drains in Norfolk. For example, last summer we saw waste water from food establishments being emptied into the drains along Hunstanton promenade. This may have been an innocent mistake, as many people think the drains go to the sewer, which is why we’re running this campaign. We want to raise awareness amongst residents, businesses and holiday makers to help everyone become a little bit more knowledgeable and vigilant. If they do, they’ll be helping to protect their much-loved coastline."

By painting something striking near the rain drains, the crabs act as a visual reminder to people, companies and contractors that these drains are connected directly to the sea and meant for rainwater only. We hope it will prevent any further issues in the future.


Anglian Water’s Coastal Protection Team work all year round to pinpoint pollution to prevent potential impacts on the region’s beaches and bathing waters. The company’s Beachcare initiative, run in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy, is just another example of its commitment to fighting pollution, by supporting volunteers to keep the region’s beaches litter-free.


Adam continued: What goes down these drains today could end up on the beach or in the sea the very next day, and that’s why this message is so important for our coastal areas.


By raising awareness of the problems caused by disposing waste down surface water drains, we can help protect our stunning seaside by getting people to do their bit for the coastal environment. We’d also like to thank the local District and County Councils for supporting us with this campaign. As a popular tourist destination, and vital for the local economy, it’s really important to ensure the region’s beaches and bathing waters are kept in tip top shape.


Anglian Water has invested more than £300million in bathing waters over the past two decades and the region is now home to a number of Britain’s best bathing waters with 16 Blue Flag awarded beaches in 2018.