From Blog

Work in Progress

2017 has got off to a good start with projects underway around the country.

We are working in East Sussex on a splashpad as part of a leisure park development. The site is at Camber Sands near Rye, and is a new feature being installed as part of the redevelopment of the holiday park. So far we have experienced torrential rain and freezing temperatures but the project is moving on. One of the quirks of working on sites like these is that the client provides the accommodation and the site teams end up staying in the park mobile homes. Whilst these are great for family holidays in the summer months I am told they get a bit chilly when the temperature outside is minus 5 degrees C.

At the other end of the country we are working on a very similar scheme at Stibb near Bude in Cornwall. Another splashpad development on a holiday park but here we are working very closely with the Main Contractor who is building the control and plant room next to the splashpad.

These projects are running to strict timescales to allow the work on the surrounding areas to be finished before the parks reopen and take holiday bookings.

Sandymouth Splash Pad 2

In complete contrast we have just started building a 6m deep pumping station and associated valve chamber with ancillary works on a sewage works for Wessex Water. The site is about 10 miles from our offices, so gets lots of visits from everyone. It also means that everyone gets home at night.

We are also involved in work for a government agency along the sides of the River Severn within site of the Severn Bridge. This must rate as one of the most bleak and cold places in the South of England. When the wind is blowing up the estuary bringing rain from the Atlantic it is not a pleasant place to be.

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Handrail fabricated in our workshop

The winter maintenance of the weedcutting boats is underway and fabrication of platforms, structures and stairways is keeping the workshops gainfully employed.

Despite the cold and recently wet weather everyone is cheerful and looking forward to the advent of spring, longer days and hopefully better conditions to work in.

To see the wide range of services we offer please visit http://kingcombe.com/water-maintenance-services/

Looking in the Archives – A lake for Super Tankers!

About five years ago we were asked to carry out all of the modifications required to an existing fishing lake and a series of stew ponds at Timsbury near Southampton to form the Manned Model Training Facility for Southampton University.

This new development was to provide a safe environment for training senior deck officers and pilots, to give them experience of close quarter manoeuvring and berthing large oil tankers, ferries and similar ships

The training programme uses scale model ships of 9m or 10m long operating on an inland lake to simulate the behaviour of real, 350m long, 300,000 tonne  vessels. This is a unique facility in the UK and we were delighted to be asked to help with its construction.

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Long reach excavator on a pontoon

Morgan Sindall were the main contractors and after a lot of discussion and design meetings our work started with widening the footpath through the undergrowth to create a vehicle access to the lake. We then launched pontoons and floating plant to open up a passage between the various separate water bodies, we desilted deep water channels and dug a narrow canal around the top of the lake.

Concrete and steel retaining walls were designed and installed, bio engineering was completed, and different types of jetties and docks were manufactured, some were pontoons moored on tubular piles, others had either solid or pierced underwater profiles to simulate the different types of harbour wall construction that the mariners would encounter.

While we did the lake works, the main contractor built the training facilities, workshops and classrooms.

It was an interesting and successful scheme that tested our ingenuity and because of the poor access and soft ground, it needed innovative approaches to overcome problems of construction.

Below is a link to the training facility website and a youtube video of the lake and its operation, hope you enjoy watching.

http://www.mannedmodels.com

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Classrooms and floating jetties

 

Image Credit: www.somethingdifferent.london

Kings Cross Pond Club – Gone but not forgotten!

In December we were asked to help with decommissioning the Kings Cross Pond Club, 2 years after we finished our on-site construction work as specialist sub-contractors. As planned from the outset it was closed down to make way for designated green space as part of the permanent development works.

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Image: Kings Cross Pond, the B|D team get in for a swim

Enormous credit should be given to Argent, developers of the Kings Cross site, for taking on the perceived risk of building the first public natural swimming pond in the UK. The bold concept and artistic design by Rotterdam based Landscape Architects, Ooze, in conjunction with Marjetica Potrč became an iconic London Landmark with a cult following for almost two years. Kingcombe, assisted by WasserWerkstatt, provided the technical input and design to ensure that the bathing water adhered to the strict German FLL guidelines for natural pools. B|D Landscape Architects provided the detailed landscape design and there was a wider team of designers and contractors who also helped to bring the project together.

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Image: Kings Cross pond, fantastic reflections

We are proud that the pond functioned so well despite some challenging conditions. The water remained clear and clean during periods of heavy summer use when bather loading was high and water temperatures were consistently over 20oC. As with all natural swimming pools Kingcombe build we used the market leading BIOTOP filtration equipment to maintain the excellent water quality.

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Image: Kings Cross pond, perfect water quality

There are positive angles we can take from the decommissioning work. We now have a stock of second hand equipment that we can install at a heavily discounted rate. If you are considering a natural pool project and you are interested in saving on the cost of new equipment please do get in contact. Many of the plants from the Kings Cross pond have been relocated to other projects so as to minimise wastage and reflect the eco-friendly nature of natural pools.

What has been proven is that naturally filtered public swimming facilities do work in the UK and they are positively embraced by swimmers looking to escape the chlorinated blue box.

If you would like to know more about our BIOTOP natural pools then we recommend you talk to Ben Garner in the first instance 01460 279 200. Alternatively you can order brochures from our website here: http://kingcombe.com/natural-swimming-pools/

Now is a good time to start planning for summer 2017.

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Happy New Year to all of our clients, staff and suppliers at the start of 2017, which is our 30th anniversary year of service to the environment.

Without your support we would never have achieved all that we have done over those 30 years. As we reach this significant milestone, it is wholly appropriate that we should take time out to thank you all for your individual contributions, in so many ways, to our success.hrh

First of all to our suppliers. Despite the modern world demanding that our commercial relationships have to be wrapped up in ever increasing contractual paperwork, those relationships still remain founded on a bond of mutual trust and respect. You have worked hard over the years to provide us with the resources to do our work, for which you can rightly expect to be paid in a timely fashion. We hope that we have always achieved that. Those old fashioned values have remained at the core of our business, helping us to survive some pretty turbulent economic conditions over the years.

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Then to our staff. One of the greatest joys has been to see how many of our staff have grown up within the business, developing their skills and experience in the process. Only this week we celebrated another member of staff reaching his 20th anniversary with the company. It is impossible to place a value on the knowledge accumulated over those years, but for certain it ensures we can offer our clients a healthy mixture of mature experience and youthful enthusiasm to overcome the challenges with which they present us. We are only as good as the staff that we employ, and we thank them all for their loyalty, their hard work and their good humour over the years.

And finally, and most importantly, to our clients. Without you, there would be no business. You have continued to present us with new and exciting challenges, which I hope that we have always strived to overcome. One of our proudest moments was to be awarded the Environment Agency’s Project Excellence Award in 2013, for the innovative design and installation of a simple eel pass. In the absence of any external power source, this relies upon miniature ram pumps to provide a suitable flow of water for the elvers to swim up. Working in close collaboration with our clients in this way is so rewarding, especially if the environment is the beneficiary of our mutual efforts.

It is a particular source of reassurance to me that over 70% of our orders come from our existing client base. Many of our regular maintenance contracts extend back well over a decade or more, demonstrating the faith that you have in our staff and the quality of the work that we do. Working in the demanding water environment, we cannot claim that everything goes according to plan every time, but our ethos is always to go that extra mile if necessary to get it right in the end.

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We would encourage you to take a few minutes to browse our website, view our various videos and see the full range of services that we can now offer. Kingcombe Aquacare Services We have certainly come a long way over the last 30 years and we unreservedly say thank you to all of our clients, commercial, private, Local Authority and Agency, for the trust that you have put in us and for encouraging us to grow over those years. We will never take that trust for granted.

So please join us in raising a toast to the next 30 years of Kingcombe Aquacare’s continuing service to the environment.

Merry Christmas!

We would just like to wish all our existing customers, colleagues, suppliers, sub contractors and friends a very Merry Christmas.

2016 has been a year of change with new faces joining the team and existing colleagues moving on to further their careers elsewhere. The Company has continued to diversify, making firm commitments to the waterplay and splashpad market, and starting to work in the power generation sector with water turbines installed through a zero cost funding scheme. Meanwhile we have continued to work hard providing a service to the Environment Agency, fabricating new structures and repairing existing ones whilst also keeping the culverts and screens of Torbay free of debris. The maintenance teams have been busy keeping the canals of London clear of weed and debris with our two weed boats. They have also continued with the regular visits to business parks and private gardens keeping the water features pristine. Our engineering teams have been travelling the country providing their specialist skills to build new and refurbish existing water features, on sites as diverse as sewage works to working on prestige housing developments.

We look forward to the challenges of 2017 and all that is in store for us, and would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Site Manager

New Year – New Job?

We are actively seeking to recruit additional site staff for the New Year. If you have the skills and aptitude, are looking for a challenge, and don’t mind working away from home, then please get in touch.

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We are looking for a Site Manager, ideally from a ground works, earthmoving or building trades background. You will be a problem solver, happy to manage a team of 3 to 6 men, reporting to a Contracts Manager for delivering a diverse range of projects safely, on time, to budget with no defects.

We are also looking for Site Operatives. Hardworking with a desire to make a difference, you might have construction industry experience or come from the landscaping industry or agriculture. You will work as part of a team on a range of projects all over the country for private and public sector clients.

Please follow the link to the specific job descriptions:

Site Manager Job Description                                 Site Operative Job Description

If you are interested in these positions can you fill in the application form – here – and we will get back to you.

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As Good As New!

Kingcombe have been busy over the past 6 months de-silting in various locations over the South West including a project near Dorchester.

Working with the Environment Agency, we carefully reinstated a section of River back to its original condition.

Before the works started, an ecologist surveyed the area which determined when the work could take place and agreed the working methods.

A pre-start meeting took place to agree access, parking and emergency procedures.

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Prior to starting, a detailed site specific inspection, environmental and site risk assessment and methodology were completed.

During the works

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Using a hydraulic excavator and a dumper, the silt and vegetation was removed from the river to a stockpile for later disposal.

Project Completion

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And it doesn’t stop there for 2016! This month, one of our site teams will be busy right up to Christmas de-silting a private lake near Warminster.

De-silting has been one of Kingcombe’s core activates for nearly 30 years and it gives us great pleasure to return a lake/pond/river or reservoir back to its original beauty.

Please contact us if you require further information on de-silting.

European Water Play Park Projects

As Sole European Distributors of Water Odyssey (the USA’s leading water play company) we are able to offer hundreds of high quality super soaking water play products to companies across the whole of Europe. Offering our services as supply only or complete installation to Landscape Architects, Leisure Facilities, Local Authorities and Theme Park Attractions, the possibilities for interactive water play projects is endless.
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We are currently working with ‘Boer Slides & Disco’ based in the Netherlands, on expanding their product range into the splashpad market. They also specialise in water play, specifically large water park slides.

 

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An exciting complex splashpad installation using a mixture of our product ranges (Water Odyssey and UK Manufactured EcoSplash) is currently taking place in Diest, Belgium. The products include a range of In-Ground Jets, Tipping Buckets and Crystal Dome features.

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We are heading out to Belgium to assist in the testing and commissioning mid March and we look forward to working closely with Boer Slides and Disco.

A Wet Night in Torquay

We have been busy with the Environment Agency in the last few weeks with additional call outs on top of our weekly maintenance visits to the Torbay area.

The majority of the work is preventative vegetation management. To increase flow and reducing blockages in water courses.

However all the leaves which gave us such a beautiful autumn have now fallen and coupled with torrential rain last week meant we were out during the night clearing blockages.

Our on-call teams were able attend site at short notice to prevent a serious rainfall event turning into flooding problems.

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Eels – an Uphill Struggle

We have been busy lately helping the European Eel fulfill its migratory desires!

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The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a species of Eel, a snake like, catadromous fish. They can reach a length of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) in exceptional cases, but are normally around 60–80 cm (2.0–2.6 ft), and rarely reach more than 1 m (3 ft 3 in).

There are still elements of the life cycle of the eel which area mystery but the bits we do understand are fascinating.

Unlike many other migrating fish, eels begin their life cycle in the ocean and spend most of their lives in fresh water, returning to the ocean to spawn and then die. In the early 1900s, Danish researcher Johannes Schmidt identified the Sargasso Sea as the most likely spawning grounds for European eels. The larvae (leptocephali) drift towards Europe in a 300-day migration. When approaching the European coast, the larvae metamorphose into a transparent larval stage called “glass eel”, enter estuaries, and start migrating upstream. After entering fresh water, the glass eels metamorphose into elvers, miniature versions of the adult eels. As the eel grows, it becomes known as a “yellow eel” due to the brownish-yellow colour of their sides and belly. After 5–20 years in fresh water, the eels become sexually mature, their eyes grow larger, their flanks become silver, and their bellies white in colour. In this stage, the eels are known as “silver eels”, and they begin their migration back to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.

The European eel is currently classified as ‘Critically Endangered’. Overall numbers have significantly declined over the last 25-30 years and the reasons for this are suggested as being a combination of habitat loss, barriers to migration, parasites, pollution, over-fishing and climate change affecting oceanic currents.

The barrier to migration problem is one area that can be improved and Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd have been working closely with the Environment Agency to improve things for the humble eel. We design and fabricate effective eel pass systems to suit a wide range of conditions and our skilled site teams have been carrying out installations at many locations in the South of the UK.

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Cassette type Eel Pass system with fish pass baffles. Eel pass solutions are designed and fabricated by us in our CE accredited workshops…
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… and fitted in some difficult locations!
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Cassette type Eel Pass system on the weir of a gauging station. Cassette type systems offer ease of maintenance and can be fitted with cameras.