Articles & Case Studies

Precast concrete drainage systems by Kijlstra help improve water quality in Swansea Bay

Posted: Tuesday 26th September 2017

Work has drawn to a close on a water project that could have taken another two months if precast concrete drainage systems by Kijlstra had not been used.

The final phase of the £3.5 million Welsh Water project to improve bathing and river water quality in the Sketty Green area of Swansea Bay for decades to come is now complete after six months. The project was particularly complex due to the location of the sewer pipe in the middle of Derwen Fawr Road, a key route in the area.

The major project by the not-for-profit company was designed to bring long-term benefits to the area by upgrading its waste water network to improve the network's performance, particularly during wet weather. The work helps reduce the risk of potential bursts and flooding which in turn improves the quality of local bathing water.

Main contractor Morgan Sindall had taken two months to install the Kijlstra components which comprised a 50m3/50,000-litre, 16-metre long storage tank, three-metre long flow regulator chamber with two 1.5-metre long downstream culverts with end walls, as well as 11 other 1.5-metre long upstream culverts with dry weather flow channels (including two with end walls). The Kijlstra regulator chamber restricts water flow to 60 litres per second. Anything over that is stored in the tank for treatment at a later date.

These Kijlstra components for the culvert run for the CSO upgrade were manufactured at the company's Somerset factory and delivered to site by truck for installation by a 100-tonne mobile crane.

Prior to leaving the factory the culverts are fitted with a rubber gasket seal which means the contractor does not have to prepare and prime the connections to fit jointing material, thus enabling a quick and easy push-fit installation.

Morgan Sindall site agent Byron Thomas estimates installation would have taken twice as long had they used the traditional shutter and steelwork method.

"We wanted culverts to have dry weather flow channels as they were the most cost-efficient and practical solution. Other options would have been pipework.

"There were many benefits to using the Kijlstra systems, one of the main ones being the traditional method of shutters and steelwork would have taken twice as long. Precast was time-saving, minimising time on site. This time saving aspect also helped reduce the inconvenience to customers living in the area and road users due to the road closure required for construction.

"There was also a reduction in waste on site and the Health and Safety risks associated with building it in the ground."

He added: "You could also argue that it's more environmentally friendly to cast them off site and that you get a better-quality product when it's manufactured in a factory."

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