Articles & Case Studies

Lanes scores for Rovers

Posted: Thursday 10th March 2011

Lanes has proved its worth as a long-term signing for premier league football club Blackburn Rovers, by discovering - and subsequently remedying - a collapsed flood defence drain which could have threatened the pitch.

The contractor has carried out regular maintenance and checks to the Ewood Park drainage system since 2007, when Lanes was called in to deal with a blockage.

That convinced Stadium Manager John Newsham to sign an open-ended contract with the drainage specialist for planned maintenance at the ground, and at the club's training academy, Brockhall Village.

It was on a routine visit that the Lanes team identified a collapse in the ground's flood defence system which outfalls to the river.

"As part of the maintenance programme, we send down a CCTV camera so that we can check the state of the drains, and were able to see straightway where the clay pipe had deteriorated. The extent of the collapse meant that we couldn't simply reline the pipe, instead we had to opt for a full excavation and repair,"

explains Damus Balfour of Lanes' Preston depot.

The problem section was right underneath the entry point to the pitch itself, so work had to be scheduled for the close season.

There was another hitch too: the 225mm diameter drain ran directly beneath one of the floodlights, so 30-metres of pipe had to be diverted to avoid interfering with the foundations of the lighting stanchion.

Lanes' civils team excavated to a depth of 3-metres to reach the damaged pipe and to install the diverted drain, so it was not a quick fix. In fact, the project took two weeks in total.

John Newsham feels that a planned maintenance programme is vital: "Having Lanes carry out regular drainage checks has really paid off, because we may not have known about the problem until it became critical, and that could have caused enormous disruption to the stadium - and Rovers' fixtures. Ultimately that could have had major financial implications too.

"Identifying it early meant we could schedule the work to be done at our convenience and, thanks to Lanes' extensive resources, everything went according to plan."

In addition to the civils work, Lanes' reline crews also fitted around 20 or so patch liners to various sections of the drainage system, so that the total contract price was around 35,000.

With Lanes' help, Rovers' flood defence system should be match fit - whatever the weather!

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