Tagged river

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Our client needed to install a signal cable across a 23m wide section of the river Avon in Dorset. The signal cable will be a vital component in the water level monitoring and flood forecasting system.

From here to there – where the new cable needed to go

But how do you get a cable across a river which is over 3m deep – and how do you protect it and ensure that it stays in place?

Working with the team at Commercial and Specialised Diving Ltd, a plan was devised to use a 63mm twinwall duct, laid as a single run across the bed of the river.

2m lengths of heavy equal angle steel were prepared and galvanised. These would be laid over the duct and fixed to it. The steel would offer impact protection to the duct and also act as ballast to hold it in place on the river bed.

The banks at this location are piled vertical walls. On the right hand bank the duct was laid in to an existing but redundant stilling tube and on the left bank the duct was fixed into the web of the existing sheet piling.

Going in

The underwater work was carried out by a diver equipped with surface supplied equipment. This is where the air is supplied to him from the surface through a hose known as an umbilical. The air supply is constantly monitored by another member of the team who can also communicate with the diver through the umbilical. A second diver remained on the bank fully suited up, ready to provide assistance if required or even a rescue should a problem occur. Two further members of the team worked from a support boat.

The first job for the diver was to clear the weed from the river bed along the route of the duct. With this done the ducting, complete with draw cord was floated across the river and loosely secured on the opposite bank. The duct was then pushed up the stilling tube and secured at a pre-cut access port.

Going down!

The first section of steel was then roped down to the diver from the bank. The diver then laid the steel over the duct, the steel and duct were then fixed together.

The next sections of steel were loaded on to the support boat and carried in to the channel, where they were roped down to the diver one at a time and laid and secured in to position.

At the far bank the duct was fixed in to the web of one of the sheet piles.

Lots of kit required

The cable was then securely tied to the draw cord and pulled through the duct from the far bank. Once the cable had emerged from the duct the draw cord was removed and the cable coiled up for later connection.

Made it – job done

Once all of the works in the water were complete the diver was retrieved from the river and given a well earned hot cup of tea – he had been in the water for over an hour.

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/

Kingcombe Aquacare Weed Boat Day

Aquatic Weed Harvester Demonstration on 4th April 2017 from 10:00am

 

Braunston Marina is situated at the junction of the Grand Union and Oxford Canals and was originally developed at the turn of the 19th century as the waterways depot at the northern end of what was then called the Grand Junction Canal. It now forms a focus for those interested in the canals, their boats and history.

With the kind permission of Braunston Marinas management team we are holding a demonstration event where industry professionals can come and see two of our “Aquatractor” weed harvesting boats and get a close  look at its unique features.

The boats “Jenny” and “Gordon” are based on a well tried and proven design. Capable of being trailered to site they are an efficient, reliable and agile workhorse capable of maintaining a high level of aquatic weed harvesting hour after hour. Unlike many boats the “Aquatractor” cuts and collects aquatic weed, which can then be deposited onto the bank or into a barge or trailer.

3

The purpose of the day is to show the two boats to interested professionals and riparian owners who might have an interest in learning more about this method of mechanical weed control. During the season we have one boat based in London and the others operate from Somerset, regularly travelling as far afield as Liverpool, the North East and the Broads.

There will be members of Kingcombe staff on hand to discuss particular problems and introduce you to the wide range of services we offer.

4

If you would like to come along, see the boats, walk around this historic site or enjoy a complimentary cup of tea and bacon roll at the Gongoozler’s floating café then please get in touch with Kelly to book a place on ke@kingcombe.com or call 01460 279200.

The Marina itself is located here: http://www.braunstonmarina.co.uk/Contact-Find-us

Get in touch if you are able to come along, we would love to see you.

http://kingcombe.com/aquatractor/home/

Wessex Water & Kingcombe Aquacare – working together for all of us

Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd are proud to be framework contractors for Wessex Water Services Ltd. We have built up a good relationship based on trust, reliability and understanding the needs of our client.

We have been involved in a range of projects, including the relining of final settlement lagoons, the repair and prevention of erosion, specialist fabrication design, and environmental project control.

Final Settlement Lagoons

Final settlement lagoons are found at many sewage treatment sites and are used to impound the water from the treatment process before it is released in to a watercourse. This is to allow any remaining sediment to settle out to ensure that the cleanest possible water is allowed to enter our streams and rivers.

We have been asked by Wessex Water to carry out lining works to several final settlement lagoons. We have installed Firestone EPDM liners to these lagoons to improve the integrity and extend the lives of these valuable assets.

1
Installing Firestone EPDM as a liner in a final settlement lagoon

Erosion repair/protection

The wet weather and high flows experienced in recent years have caused many stream and river banks to suffer accelerated erosion. Several Wessex Water outfalls have been affected with the river cutting away the banks around the asset and we have been called in to carry out repairs.

2
Eroded bank adjacent to a treated water outfall – before…
3
….and after “soft” engineering repair, using growing material to stabilise and reinforce the bank
4
Because of the speed of the water we also have to use “hard” repairs. In this situation we have installed a 3m high rock gabion wall to protect the lagoons from the flow of water which was eroding the outside of the bend.

Environmental Works

We also get involved with environmental works for WW such as permit applications, surveys and monitoring. We were asked to monitor the controlled drain down of a small reservoir recently. This involved measuring and recording the dissolved oxygen and turbidity levels, fish containment and maintaining a watch over the general fish health. We are pleased to announce that no fish were hurt in the undertaking of these works!

5&6
Electrofishing the outlet channel after a controlled reservoir draindown

To view our full list of services please see http://kingcombe.com/water-maintenance-services/

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.

After
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/

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.

Before

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

During the works

2

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

Project Completion

3

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.

Eels – an Uphill Struggle

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

elvers

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.

5
Cassette type Eel Pass system with fish pass baffles. Eel pass solutions are designed and fabricated by us in our CE accredited workshops…
2
… and fitted in some difficult locations!
4
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.

Made to Measure

We have recently completed a number of projects where the main features of the works have been fabricated in our own workshops. We are CE accredited to Level 3 (EN1090) and produce a wide range of made to measure products including bridges, jetties, flood gates, trash screens, sluice gates and bespoke one-off fabrications – using a variety of materials such as steel, timber and plastics.

The pictures show works in Devon including replacement trash screens at two sites and a fabricated mild steel footbridge with a composite deck and stainless handrails.

trash-screen

trash-screen-2

bridge

All three structures were upgrades and improvements on what was installed previously. All our fabrications are bespoke and made to suit the particular location. The first activity is always a careful survey of the site to ensure we have the correct dimensions. This must be done to ensure that when the finished structure arrives on site the measurements are perfect and it fits first time.

Trash screens are installed in flood channels to remove large pieces of debris from the water course before it flows through a pipe or culvert.  The screen reduces the risk of debris causing blockages in the culvert and subsequent flooding. We also undertake maintenance contracts with several clients to ensure that these screens are regularly cleaned and maintained so that they are ready to take any storm flows, and are not covered over with a fly-tipped mattress or garden waste.

To see more about the fabrications we do, please visit http://kingcombe.com/water-maintenance-services/fabrications-2/steel-fabrications/

Long Lance Herbicide Application

To spray or not to spray – that is the question (with apologies to William Shakespeare on his anniversary)

John recently started a new LinkedIn discussion regarding the use of herbicide against non-native aquatic plant species. Here’s what he wrote.

“Over the last 10 years most approved aquatic herbicides have been removed from the market. Now it would seem that Glyphosate is the next target to come into the sights of the EU legislators. I suspect that all environmentally conscious people would prefer not to be introducing chemicals into the environment unnecessarily. However, the potential loss of Glyphosate, which in the form of Roundup Pro Bio is deemed to be one of the safest products for use in or near water, would present us with real challenges, not the least being the control of non-native species such as Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, Floating Pennywort to name but a few.

As a responsible company working in the field of water management and maintenance, Kingcombe Aquacare is keen to find alternative procedures if they exist, but for some of these pernicious plants, which are destroying our native habitat, often in SSSIs, spraying with Glyphosate is the only commercially viable means of control.

I would be interested to know where other Chartered Environmentalists stand on this issue, and whether there are alternative non-native invasive weed control strategies that are commercially viable and successful. Indeed, I would be keen to know where the Institute stands on this issue!”

The ramifications of potentially losing the last remaining effective herbicide are huge and will spark many discussions of how best to control infestations of these non-native plants

Fish and Eel Pass

Improving Eel and Fish Passage

An example of success achieved by good design, strong partnership working and experienced installation teams.

We have recently completed another eel pass and fish baffle installation for the Environment Agency, this time in Frampton Cotterell, on the Bristol Frome in Gloucestershire.

Working very closely with the Environment Agency project manager, Gareth Varney, and Fisheries Officer Jody Armitage, we installed one of our jointly designed cassette type eel and elver pass systems on an existing weir, to help improve eel migration. The recycled plastic fish baffles were installed on the concrete weir face to improve the ease of passage for trout and coarse fish.  Both systems were designed to minimise the impact on flow measurement accuracy of the weir and on flood warning capability.

Water level was higher than expected so conditions were challenging but not insurmountable. Our site team were able to manage the water effectively by deploying sand bags and flow deflectors to divert it away from the works area. This facilitated the installation of fish baffles and the eel pass, while maintaining constant water flow downstream.

Eel Pass Tiles

Our work was completed safely, on time and to budget. Gareth Varney, Environment Agency Hydrometry & Telemetry Programme Manager commented;

“We are delighted with the new eel pass installed by the Kingcombe team. They were able to complete the installation under challenging conditions but despite this the end product is perfect. It has not compromised the operation of our existing weir and has hopefully improved migration of fish further up the Frome catchment and should be another positive step in the right direction in the battle to reverse the decline in the European Eel population”