ECS undertakes stop log handling system installation and maintenance work at Colwick Sluice
Spanning the River Trent, Colwick Sluice is on the frontline of flood defences designed to protect the city of Nottingham. Working on behalf of the Environment Agency, ECS Engineering Services has undertaken a large project to enhance operations at the site, including the installation of a new stop log handling system as well as maintenance of the gates and stoplogs.
Enhancing the stoplog system
ECS has worked at Colwick Sluice for the Environment Agency recently, having installed a semi-automated stoplog deployment system that has streamlined the isolation of the five gates at the site. The system ensures dry access to each sluice gate mechanism, expediting inspection and maintenance work.
With this success in mind, the Environment Agency approached ECS to further enhance the system with the addition of an overhead gantry crane to seamlessly transfer stoplogs from the storage area onto the track of the deployment system. This crane greatly improves the speed and ease of stoplog deployment.
The crane travels overhead for a distance of 15.6 m, lowering the stop logs onto an extended deployment track with two linked electric hoists. Offering a lifting capacity of 6.4 tonnes up to a height of 5 m, the crane can move the sizable stop logs into position on the deployment track with ease.
Utilising its in-house design and fabrications facilities, ECS produced a galvanised steel gantry crane structure, adhering to CE mark standards for steelwork. ECS also installed a crane control panel within an IP66 rated enclosure as well as a 415 volt cable to power the system. Safety features include emergency stop functionality, lever limit switches and storm anchors to prevent crane movement in high winds, overload protection and positional limits. Galvanised platforms and ladders were also included in the design, ensuring maintenance personnel have full access.
Refurbishing the sluice gates
The new crane wasn’t the only work required at Colwick Sluice. Gate 5 had suffered some damage as its downstream clutches had become detached from concrete. The clutches are designed to guide the stop logs as they are lowered into position in the gate chamber. After conducting a detailed dive survey to assess damage to the concrete, ECS isolated the areas so new clutches could be fitted.
ECS fabricated two new steel clutches from scratch. Both were hot dipped galvanised to maximise service life. To minimise any future risk of the clutches becoming detached from the concrete, both were multi-drilled to maximise the number of fixing positions around the damaged area, providing increased security. Additionally, ECS provided stainless-steel resin anchors to complete the repair.
Inspections and repairs were also carried out on all five gates, with each isolated with stoplogs to carry out this work. Once isolated, mobile scaffolds were utilised to ensure safe mechanical and paint inspections. All seals were replaced, paint thickness was assessed by a specialist, while all accessible areas – including the gate wheels, gate track and sill beams – were inspected too. This work ensured that the gates were in optimum condition.
To complete the overhaul, ECS refurbished the 14 stoplogs installed at Colwick Sluice. All existing seals were stripped and replaced, with every fixing bolt also renewed to ensure a water tight system.
Additionally, the downstream handling carriages and associated hoists were overhauled. The stoplog lifting beams were also thoroughly tested. This ensured that isolation of sections of the sluice could be carried out with high reliability and safety.
Brian Rhodes, Project Manager at ECS, commented: “This is a project that really showcases our ability to produce solutions, as well as our expertise in managing large works and operating in confined spaces too. With our in-house design and manufacturing capabilities, we have been able to meet the multiple requirements at Colwick, including the manufacture and installation of an on-site crane. Combined with the comprehensive maintenance work carried out, this turnkey approach will ensure that Colwick Sluice will continue to function as a key flood defence asset long into the future.”