Tagged Aquacare

Brentford CRT Hangar on the Grand Union Canal – London

Lots of notifications regarding Floating Pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides) this month.

“Gordon” the Kingcombe Aquacare weed harvester, was directed to the Brentford area to clear up large infestations of the problematic weed.

This non-native invasive species originally from North America, has spread across the UK since the 1980s and has the potential to grow a staggering 20cm per day.

Non-native invasive species, are considered the second greatest threat to native wildlife and they cost the UK economy as a whole up to £1.7 billion a year.

By stopping the spread at an early stage, it is much more cost effective than attempting to control species once it has become established.

The Aquatractor with its moving bed and side cutters, takes no time to cut and remove the Floating Pennywort and place it in the waiting hopper barges.

Once the bulk has been removed, we would recommend careful hand removal of fragments,  followed up with a herbicide application where necessary.

To find out more about this invasive weed and others why not take a look at the Plant Tracker App. Click here to download here

Borehole Refurbishment

We have recently been tasked with carrying out refurbishments and upgrade works to a number of borehole head works.

A borehole is a narrow shaft drilled into the ground, vertically or at an angle for a number of purposes such as water extraction, gas or petroleum extraction, mineral exploration, site assessment, geotechnical investigation, groundwater monitoring and a number of other purposes. The borehole may be a few meters or hundreds of meters deep. Typically the hole is drilled into an aquifer and then lined with a solid pipe over part of its depth and then a mesh screen or filter pipe to support the bore and keep the hole open through fissured rock, sands or gravel.

The head works can take various forms, from simply a steel pipe protruding from the ground, to a walk in kiosk set on a concrete base. Most commonly, monitoring boreholes tend to be accessed via a shallow chamber with a removable access cover.

Typical borehole headworks arrangement
Above ground steel pipe head work with cover removed. Not shown is the actual borehole tube which is inside. This arrangement protects the borehole tube from surface water flooding. This borehole is also under pressure – known as an “Artesian” well.

Artesian boreholes occur when the aquifer in to which they are drilled is under pressure. This is usually due to the confinement of the aquifer beneath an impermeable layer which is at a lower level than the hydrostatic equilibrium of the aquifer as a whole.

Artesian borehole with valve fitted. If the valve were opened water would issue vertically under pressure. A pressure gauge can be fitted to the valve and the recorded pressure indicates the true level of the groundwater.
Manual measurement using a level tape

Aquifers can occur at any depth but for monitoring purposes in the UK boreholes are commonly drilled to depths of 10m – 90m. One of the deepest boreholes ever drilled is the Kola Superdeep in Russia. This borehole was drilled in the 1970”s by the Soviet Union as part of a scientific experiment and achieved a depth of 12,262m – that’s over seven and a half miles!

The boreholes we help to maintain are used by our client to monitor groundwater levels. Groundwater level data is an important aid for flood forecasting as the more water that is in the ground, the less rain water can be absorbed. High groundwater levels can also mean high river levels and therefore less drainage capacity. It is also useful to know when groundwater levels are low, as this can often indicate the possibility of an impending water shortage.

The groundwater level has traditionally been measured by lowering a weighted tape measure with two electrodes in the bottom of the weight down the borehole tube. When the weight touches the water, the circuit is completed and a buzzer on the tape reel sounds. The depth is measured against a fixed datum point.

Many boreholes now are fitted with telemetry systems which enable the groundwater levels to be monitored remotely and consistently, with a reduced requirement for manned site attendance.

We are often tasked with the modification of existing borehole head works to enable the installation of automated measuring and telemetry systems.

In ground headworks replaced with purpose made cabinet. This arrangement enables the groundwater to be monitored both remotely and constantly through telemetry

The picture shows the cabinet mounted over the top of the headworks, an adjacent earthing point with a copper pin driven into the ground, and four marker posts to locate the installation in the verge. On the back of the cabinet is a solar panel to power the data logger and telemetry equipment.

Business As Usual

We are pleased to announce that Kingcombe Aquacare has joined the Stonbury (Holdings) Ltd, group of companies based near Bedford.

All at Kingcombe are excited by the news and look forward to exploring the possibilities that this new opportunity gives us. For our customers it remains business as usual. We will carry on with our work as before and you will deal with the same members of staff, but confident in the knowledge that we now have Stonbury’s expertise and backing to draw on as well.

To find out more about Stonbury please visit their website.

Kingcombe Aquacare – Cancer Research UK Relay for Life

Over the past few months a team from Kingcombe have been raising money in aid of Cancer Research UK. Not only have we raised money by holding fundraising events such as raffles and a pub Olympics, but on the 22nd July, the team took part in the ‘Relay for Life’ in Crewkerne.

This involved John, Theresa, Scott, Kevin, Becky, Kimberley, Rosenn, Nick, Mike and Graham, along with support from our family and friends, to set up camp and take turns to walk round a track for an epic 24 hours!

Throughout the event there were themed slots which involved the team dressing up in funny outfits. These included Glam Rock, Onesies, Glow in the Dark, Masquerade, Superheroes & Princesses and a Miss Relay section for men only where Nick, Kevin and Scott got their glad rags on and strutted around the track!

We have nearly raised our goal of an amazing £2,000. This will support Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research into preventing, controlling and curing all cancers. Every step we make towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated and any donation will make a real difference!

We would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past few months. All of the companies who have supplied us with gifts for our raffles, people who have donated and our friends & family.

If you would like to donate to our Cancer Research UK fundraising page please follow the link  http://relay.cancerresearchuk.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/General?team_id=10742&pg=team&fr_id=1714

VACANCY – Trainee Maintenance Operative

We are a National Company based in Somerset, specialising in creating and maintaining waterscapes for business and leisure. An exciting opportunity has arisen in our Maintenance division. We currently have positions  available based in both Bristol and Crewkerne.
This position includes carrying out regular maintenance tasks for a wide range of water features on both commercial and private properties. The work is likely to include operating specialist machinery, weed cutting and control, herbicide application, seine netting, electro-fishing, fish transportation, planting, bank revetment and maintenance, liner installation and repairs as well as larger construction projects.
 
To be considered for the role you will have the following skills:
  • Relevant grounds or water maintenance experience would be an advantage.
  • Hold a current CSCS card
  • Able to establish good working relationships with clients, agents & sub-contractors.
  • Competent swimmer
  • Hold a clean driving licence and must be willing to travel nationally and occasionally work away.
Benefits for this role include a competitive salary & working away allowances
For an application form please call Rosenn Harvey 01460 279200
 
Closing date: Monday 31st July 2017

American Skunk Cabbage Control On Behalf of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and The New Forest National Park Authority

For the second year running we have taken part in the invasive non-native species control as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded New Forest ‘Our Past, Our Future’ Landscape Partnership Scheme.

American skunk-cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is present in several locations in and around the New Forest National Park.

Under European Union regulations, it is an offence in the UK to keep, cultivate, breed, transport, sell or exchange this species, or release it, intentionally or unintentionally, into the environment.

American skunk cabbage is a large, imposing perennial producing paddle-shaped leaves up to 1.5 metres tall and yellow arum-like flowers in spring that are spectacular but foul-smelling (hence the name). Originally from western North America, it was widely available from garden centres and nurseries for planting besides ponds and in bog gardens.

It spreads vigorously in wet woodland, wetlands and ditches, forming dense stands that out-compete native vegetation by shading and smothering. Reproduction by seed in the wild is frequent. It has been reported in at least 10 EU countries.

We are just recording the results from our late May treatment and the dieback looks promising.

The large site presents awkward access bordering a lake and approximately 1 hectare of boggy woodland often requiring a long walk in full PPE and a heavy Knapsack. Due to the densities of the plants we have used spray paint to mark individual plants and a flag system to help navigate the woodland.

Late June 2016. First treatment – difficult to navigate through plants. Note the yellow markers
Late May 2017. Fewer plants, smaller and easier to move around

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lone plant in the upper reaches. Treated in 2016
Late May 2017. Same location as image to the left. Plant dead and no sign of new seedlings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 weeks post treatment – Dieback evident

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about weed control, please click here

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday saw a miraculous change at Old Ford Lock on the Regents Canal in Tower Hamlets, East London.

We are working under contract to Fountains, carrying out ongoing maintenance work for the Canal and River Trust. One of our “Aquatractor” weed boats works on the London canals through out the summer, cutting weed, removing litter and keeping the waterways looking their best.

Here are more details of our weed boats: http://kingcombe.com/aquatractor/home/

Sandymouth Resort Splash Pad Success

The week leading up to the May bank holiday saw us commissioning a new childrens splash pad at Sandymouth Holiday Resort, in Bude, Cornwall.

This was the final piece of work for us to complete on this project ready to hand over to the Client in preparation for their opening at the weekend. Normally we would be finished and commissioned with time to spare but we were reliant on others for power and water connections and to complete the finishing around our work. We understand that everything went well despite thunder and lightning on the Friday night. We are happy to announce that our equipment worked well without any problems for the holiday makers and in the words of one mother on Facebook – “my little man loved it”

So well done to everyone from Kingcombe who helped make this scheme a success, and added to the enjoyment of the resort’s customers.

To visit the Sandymouth Resort Facebook page, please click here

30th Anniversary Celebrations

A great time was had by all when the Kingcombe Team came together on the weekend to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the company. A family BBQ was held on the Saturday afternoon at Cann Farm, John and Theresa Colton’s home, accompanied by a water slide, paddling pools, football goals and the biggest bubble maker known to man! In the evening over 90 of our clients, suppliers and staff sat down to a four course meal, including a duck breast starter and a crayfish and water buffalo main course. Washed down with some great wine, followed up by fabulous music and entertainment courtesy of the band Area 52, it proved to be a barnstormer of an evening and an appropriate way for us to thanks to those present for all their support over those 30 years.

 However, that thanks spreads beyond the sore heads, hoarse voices and weary limbs of the revellers on that evening. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of our clients who have placed their faith in Kingcombe over the years, many of whom have become firm friends in the process. We also need to remember our suppliers, be they a one man band or a large national company. Our supply chain is critical to the success of our performance on site, without their diligence and reliable service it would be impossible to achieve the quality goals that we set ourselves. The Kingcombe Team is a very broad kirk, and we welcome this opportunity to extend our thanks to all those who have helped us to achieve this notable milestone.

Whilst it is tempting at a moment like this to dwell on the achievements of the past, I am excited to say that the heady mix of youth and maturity, male and female, innovation and experience, that now makes up the Kingcombe Team, prepares us so well for the challenges that lie ahead. Coming straight off the back of being involved in the building of water features on no less than four – yes, four – Gold Medal winning gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last month (http://kingcombe.com/2017/05/chelsea-flower-show-success/), our 30th Celebration was not so much a recognition of our achievements in the past, more a statement of intent for what we hope to achieve in the future.

Here’s to the next 30 years!

Chelsea Flower Show Success

We are very pleased to announce that of the four gardens that we were involved with at Chelsea this year, all have won Gold Medals, including a 72nd successive gold for Hillier’s.

Royal Bank of Canada Garden – designed by Charlotte Harris. Water element by Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd. 2017 Gold Medal Winner: Show Garden
Viking Cruises Garden – designed by Sarah Eberle. Water element by Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd. 2017 Gold Medal Winner: Artisan Garden
Walkers Wharf – designed by Graham Bodle. Water Element by Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd. 2017 Gold Medal Winner: Artisan Garden
Spring – designed by Sarah Eberle. Water Element by Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd. 2017 Gold Medal Winner. This is Hilliers 72nd successive gold medal.

Congratulations to all involved!

(All photos courtesy of Royal Horticultural Society)