Sheet Piling UK carries out emergency reservoir repairs

Preston-based sheet pile installer Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd has been called upon to carry out emergency repairs at the Staines Reservoir in Surrey.

Working on behalf of Costain Atkins Black and Veatch (CABV) JV and its client, Thames Water, the project will see Sheet Piling UK’s team install a sheet pile cut-off wall to prevent leakage of water through the reservoir’s core.

The project will include feeding sheet piles from a purposely designed and constructed floating barge, created from Unifloat Pontoons. This carries the sheet piling equipment across the water and acts as a lifting platform to feed the sheet piles to the walking Giken press.

A temporary jetty facilitates the loading of plant – an 80Te crane barge - and the sheet piles set for installation, on to the floating structure. This is then floated out to the installation location, to assist the work of the low-impact Giken press on the crest of the dam.

Once the sheet pile wall is installed, Sheet Piling UK will fully reinstate the clay core, after conducting pitch, tenacity and elongation tests. The work is anticipated to take around 12 weeks and, due to the distances between key workers, be carried out safely and in line with the current health regulations for those having to work on emergency and essential works.

The design-life of the piles used is around 100 years, so the repairs will last a long time into the future, safeguarding this reservoir for water supply and leisure use.

Andrew Cotton, Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd’s managing director, said: "We did not expect to be called upon to handle a project like this, at this time, but given the emergency nature of the project, the work had to be tackled and the team were well-prepared to do that, both in terms of past expertise and current health and safety considerations."

It is the second project of its kind that Sheet Piling UK has handled for this client, with the first, at Island Barns Reservoir, completed in 2017.

Andrew added: "We anticipate many other such reservoir repair projects in the coming years, as Victorian infrastructures start to deteriorate, causing a variety of issues."

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