Articles & Case Studies

Silt Removal a 'must' for New Scottish Link Road

Posted: Friday 16th December 2011

CONSTRUCTION of a new £30 million road to the north of Glasgow linking the town of Kirkintilloch to the motorway network has been achieved to high environmental standards. It required the installation of three Downstream Defender® Hydrodynamic Vortex Separators (HVSs) from Hydro International to remove silt and pollutants from surface water runoff near the town centre.

An extensive environmental programme for the road included the creation of new wetland and the protection of waterside wildlife habitats, so a sustainable drainage solution for the road’s 5.1 km length was paramount including the siting of five attenuation ponds at points along the route.

But space restrictions presented a challenge to draining a 1.1 km stretch at the northernmost end of the road in Kirkintilloch town centre. So Hydro Downstream Defender® HVSs were specified to meet silt removal targets set by East Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

“The road is built in a former railway cutting and the proximity of buildings at the top of the cutting and relatively narrow cutting base width meant there was no room for an attenuation pond” says Michael Gordon of Consulting Engineers WYG. “The Downstream Defender® HVSs were installed at the Townhead Junction in Kirkintilloch and are integrated with a system of linked drainage trenches that help clean the surface water discharge into the nearby river, the Luggie Water.

“Treating surface water runoff to remove silts, oils and other pollutants was a fundamental requirement to protect the sensitive live watercourse. Downstream Defender® HVSs provided the ideal solution, achieving the minimal head loss parameters required and offering the best sediment removal performance.”

A programme of environmental improvements along the entire length of the road was implemented to conserve and enhance the natural environment including the creation of a new area of wetland ten times the size of the original, realigning burns to improve water and habitats for mammals such as voles and otters, and creating a green network.

Said Alex Stephenson, Operations Director of Hydro International’s Stormwater Division: “The Kirkintilloch Link Road project provides a perfect example of how sustainable drainage can combine the best of natural and engineered solutions to provide the best protection for the local environment.”

The Kirkintilloch Link Road, built as part of the town’s £56million regeneration programme, opened in December 2010.

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