Worcestershire town to complete new flood defences
ECS Engineering Services has started work on the third and final stage of the Upton-upon-Severn flood alleviation scheme, helping protect the area and residents for years to come.
ECS is working alongside Worcestershire County Council to reduce the risk of standing water on key sections of its highway network. The main contract deliverable is to keep roads safe and passable and businesses, schools and other facilities open across the county during periods of heavy rainfall.
ECS has been involved in numerous groundwater management schemes around the country and has framework agreements with most water companies and statutory bodies. ECS has also worked on water distribution and treatment projects as well as coastal protection schemes, utilising its breadth and depth of relevant experience.
At Upton-upon-Severn, ECS are helping to improve water drainage into the river with new and refurbished drains and to build an underground holding / interceptor tank. The new system designed by ECS will regulate flow, enabling water to be discharged into the river at a controlled rate preventing sharp rises in water levels downstream.
The Environment Agency has awarded ECS a bespoke design-and-build package for a pumped interceptor tank in Upton. Mick Smith, ECS’s project engineer for the contract explains: “This newly designed system will provide relief to the surface drains. Excess surface water will be collected in an interceptor tank and later pumped via a rising main to the ‘wet’ side of the existing river bank.”
Upton is a town of about 3000 people on the banks of the River Severn, 10 miles downstream from Worcester. In 2007, the town was surrounded by water and effectively became an island in the Severn. During high rainfall in 2014, the A4104 road had to be closed for several days due to standing water and the only way to access the town was by boat or military vehicle.
Following on from this, a comprehensive rain water management scheme has been under development, the first two stages of which involved raising and widening critical roads in the area and raising the level of the river banks in the nearby marina.
The final stage involves improvements to the infrastructure, the installation of new culverts under the roadways to help with drainage, together with extending and strengthening existing culverts. ECS’s role in this included building a new interceptor tank and outfall on a grass bank close to the town’s New Street. The project involved excavating the existing bank and installing a 60m3 capacity interceptor tank, then a sympathetic reinstatement to the area.
The tank was filled with spacer modules, high performance polymer mouldings that look rather like milk crates. These units are incredibly strong and able to support considerable vertical loads, while taking up barely any of the tank’s storage capacity, and thus ensure the tank and ground above it are completely stable.
A discharge pump and pipework has been installed permanently in an adjacent valve chamber, ready to go into action whenever required. A lever-lock coupling has also been fitted so that a temporary booster pump can be brought in if required.
Mick Smith concludes: “To complete the job we will be installing handrails, inspection covers and other supplementary fittings. Given ECS’s track record with successful groundwater management schemes, the residents of Upton upon Severn can be confident of state-of-the-art protection for years to come.