Articles & Case Studies

MILL RACE DAMMED FOR CONFINED SPACE WORKING

Posted: Tuesday 30th August 2011

The Environment Agency has recently completed the repair of the mill race at Stanwell Upper Mill, near Heathrow, with the help of AquaDams supplied by Albion Water Structures. Probably the first time the EA has used the cofferdams, a 1.8m MCD (maximum controlled water depth) AquaDam was used to secure the works area from the River Colne. A small flume pipe was used to maintain the flow beyond the hatches and the remainder of the flow was sent downstream.

Confined space working was required underneath the Mill, which was used for paper until the end of the 18th century, then for milling corn and in the 20th century for the manufacture of medicines until the 1950s. The AquaDams provided a dewatered area from the Thames tributary. The dams comprise two tubes inside an outer. Water is pumped into these tubes which become a non-rolling wall of water creating a tight seal with the surface beneath. At the end of the project, the water is released back into the dewatered area.

The effectiveness and simplicity of the system enabled the job to be completed ahead of schedule, with no mess to the banks of the leat, or disruption to the Mill itself which is now a busy office complex. The Environment Agency has featured AquaDam in their Innovation Briefing 18 – AquaDam temporary cofferdams which is available for download from www.cofferdam.co.uk .

The Environment Agency commissioned the hire and installation from Albion Water Structures’ installation partners. Clients who prefer to purchase the dams can install the AquaDam themselves as full training is provided by Albion Water Structures and a small dam can be in situ within an hour. Clients then have the facility to use the dams again and again; particularly useful for unplanned or emergency situations such as flood risk. The smaller range of dams can be delivered next day.




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