ECS on course to bring 70 South Downs and Solent trash screens up to date for the Environment Agency
ECS Engineering Services has been contracted to upgrade over 70 trash screen sites located in the South Downs and the Solent for the Environment Agency. Designing and manufacturing the new trash screens in-house, ECS is also provided supporting infrastructure such as handrails and access platforms. With installation work now ongoing, the project is reducing flooding risks in the area.
Trash screens primarily protect culverts from becoming blocked by debris. Detritus is hard to extract once it has found its way into a culvert, and if it is allowed to build up, it can adversely affect flow. Trash screens also provide security, restricting public access to the culvert itself. Therefore, ensuring that trash screens are optimised to the needs of each culvert is essential. To ensure sites in the South Downs and Solent were up to the task, the Environment Agency turned to ECS, a specialist in trash screen design, manufacture and installation.
As part of the service, ECS carried out thorough inspections of all the trash screen locations. With installations stretching from Chichester to the Isle of Wight, ECS employed its extensive on-site service teams to complete the work efficiently. Sites varied greatly, with trash screens in some cases near railways or on farmland. After inspections were complete, it was clear each would require an individual approach.
ECS operates an in-house design and fabrication capability to meet large projects such as this. Offering decades of experience carrying out challenging water control projects for government institutions, private companies and local authorities – the business is highly efficient in meeting large orders. The close proximity of both design and fabrications departments, along with the large capacity of the workshop, ensures that lead times are greatly reduced.
Each site has slightly different requirements, whether that was in the design of the trash screen or the supporting infrastructure. A number of locations require a newly designed trash screen and cranked handrails. In some cases, new access platforms were required to allow personnel to inspect and clear the screens. Fabrications were carried out in mild steel and then galvanised to Environment Agency specifications. All steelwork complied to CE Marking BS:EN1090-1 Execution Class 2 (EXC2) – well within ECS’ EXC4 certification.
With the fabrications work completed in house, ECS began to overhaul each site. Old trash screens are to be removed and replaced. Each and every new screen will feature a minimum 140 mm clearance underneath to allow smaller debris through, promoting water flow through the culvert. While many of the sites could be overhauled manually, in some challenging areas cranes are utilised to move loads into place. New railings are being installed, as well as new steps and access platforms where required. In certain areas, bunds will also built by ECS. Managing the entire process from start to finish, ECS are able to complete the work to specification and deadline.
Mick Smith, Project Engineer at ECS, concludes: “Trash screens are a real area of expertise for our business. We have recently completed a similar overhaul in Nottingham, also for the Environment Agency, but this particular project was on a much larger scale. We’re used to providing trash screens that are optimised to the requirements of each site, which is vital to ensure optimum water flow, debris capture and security. Our combination of in-house design and fabrication, matched with our on-site teams, means that we are effective in meeting challenging projects across multiple locations.”