With three major storms this year already, the dangers of flooding, is threatening long-term damage to buildings, infrastructure and life so how can we protect ourselves from floodwater whilst still living our normal lives?
One way is to ensure that our underground stormwater attenuation systems are large enough to ensure that it can capture rainwater and release it slowly, so it does not overflow our systems.
With floodwater plains now used for housing and other infrastructure, we need to build underground systems that cannot only manage the floodwater but can also be built upon, such as using heavyweight solutions like precast concrete storage solutions and pipe systems.
Allowing for greater capacity in the system, concrete pipe and tank systems have the ability to trap and treat surface water and storm water and store it before releasing it slowly back into the drainage system (or watercourse) when pressure on the system has reduced.
Using a smaller footprint area, precast pipes and tank systems can be buried in most areas on an infrastructure site without the worry of creating a SUDS (Sustainable Drainage System) area above ground, such as swales and ponds that may add to the complications of floodwater or become a danger to life, or attract unwanted wildlife, such as rats.
Where attenuation is not the answer, another option to protecting your property, either private or commercial, is to install floodwalls.
These can look decorative so when not needed can blend into their natural surroundings but also protect in times when water may rise to unusual levels such as seasonal or extreme weather.
Take for instance concrete Redi-Rock flood walling which are double sided so are ideal where space is scarce, or when a wall is needed that looks great either side and will protect you from flooding and the damage that entails, whether that be your home or your place of work or the infrastructure of getting between the two.
With a 100-year design life, the Redi-Rock walling gives you that extra security when flooding hits.
For more information on attenuation systems please visit https://www.cpm-group.com/products/water-management/stormwater-management/attenuation/ and for more information on Redi-Rock walling systems please visit https://www.cpm-group.com/products/retaining-walls/
The construction of pipe and underground systems have been around in one form or another for thousands of years, with the Romans developing cement and concrete similar to that used today.
The first sewer pipes were built of brick and mortar in the Indus Valley in 2500 BC. Some of these systems, constructed by the Persians, Macedonians and Minoans, contained brick-lined pits similar to modern septic systems. Eventually, the Romans and Greeks built extensive open sewer systems of brick and stone that carried effluent and trash to cesspools constructed of stone or concrete. Solids would then settle to the bottom and liquid would flow to nearby bodies of water. Rivers and waterways were used as free-flowing open sewers causing illness and death through the Country.
In the mid-19th century, London was suffering from recurring epidemics of choler, with more than 10,000 people dying of the disease between 1853 – 1854. It was believed at the time to be caused by foul air.
The hot summer of 1858 created the ‘Great Stink of London’, which overwhelmed all those who went near the Thames – including the occupants of Parliament. This, together with the frequent occurrence of cholera, gave impetus to legislation enabling the metropolitan board to begin work on sewers and street improvements. By 1866 most of London was connected to a sewer network devised by London’s Metropolitan Board of Works, Chief Engineer, Joseph Bazalgette.
He ensured that the flow of foul water from old sewers and underground rivers was intercepted and diverted along new, low-level sewers, built behind embankments on the riverfront and taken to new treatment works.
By 1870 both the Albert and the Victoria Embankments had been opened. These replaced the tidal mud of the Thames shore with reclaimed ground for riverside roads and gardens behind their curved river walls. The Victoria Embankment protected Bazalgette’s low-level sewer, as well as a service subway and the underground railway. The Chelsea Embankment was completed in 1874, reclaiming over 52 acres from the Thames. Six main interceptor sewers, totalling almost 160 km (100 miles) in length, were constructed, some incorporating stretches of London’s “lost” rivers.
Three of these sewers were north of the river, the southernmost, low-level one being incorporated in the Thames Embankment. The Embankment also allowed new roads, new public gardens, and the Circle line of the London Underground. Victoria Embankment was finally officially opened on 13 July 1870.
The intercepting sewers, constructed between 1859 and 1865, were fed by 450 miles (720 km) of main sewers that, in turn, conveyed the contents of some 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of smaller local sewers. Construction of the interceptor system required 318 million bricks, 2.7 million cubic metres of excavated earth and 670,000 cubic metres of concrete.
The innovative use of Portland cement strengthened the tunnels many of which are still in good order.
The first sewer systems in the United States were built in the late 1850s in Chicago and Brooklyn. In the United States, the first sewage treatment plant using chemical precipitation was built in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1890.
For over 150 years, concrete pipes have been used in the UK, with a proven history of performance these pipes are still in operation. When a concrete pipe was discovered in 1891 it was found to be in good working order.
For more information on available sizes please visit https://www.cpm-group.com/products/drainage/concrete-pipes/
The Environment Agency has warned that Britain’s flood planners must prepare for the worst on climate change, as its chairwoman, Emma Howard Boyd, said on current trends, global temperature could rise between 2C and 4C by 2100 and £billion a year would need to be spent on flood management, with some communities needing to move because of the risks of flooding.
The report from the EA has said that rising seas will swamp homes, with hundreds of key sites in England at risk of floods and that more should be done to encourage property owners to rebuild homes after flooding in better locations rather than just “recycling what was there before”.
The government said it will be seeking evidence for its own flood policy in the autumn.
Ms Howard Boyd, launching the consultation on the agency’s flood strategy, said government policy should ensure that all publicly-funded infrastructure is resilient to flooding and coastal change by 2050.
“We can’t win a war against water by building away climate change with infinitely high flood defences,” she said. The agency expects more intense bursts of rain and continuing coastal erosion. Ms Howard Boyd warned that climate change and population growth in England meant that properties built in the floodplain will double over the next 50 years.
The agency points towards research from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership which suggests that losses on UK mortgages could also double if global temperatures increase by 2C and triple if warming hits 4C.
These would be insurance-related losses related to outcomes of climate change such as more extreme weather. Ms Howard-Boyd said the government’s six-year flood programme had given flood and coastal protection “a shot in the arm”, but she warned that more will be needed.
Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: “Flooding and coastal erosion can have terrible consequences for people, businesses and the environment. “That’s why we are already providing £2.6bn over six years, delivering more than 1,500 projects to better protect 300,000 homes.”
But she added that “the threat of climate change will mean an increasing risk and preparing the country is a priority for the government, and the nation as a whole”.
In a statement, Friends of the Earth said: “Smarter adaptation and resilience building – including natural flood management measures like tree-planting – is undeniably important. But the focus must be first and foremost on slashing emissions so that we can avoid the worst consequences of climate chaos in the first place.”
Communities need to think about flood prevention and how solutions already on the market can protect their properties, such as the Marshalls CPM Redi-Rock™ flood walls that are designed and manufactured to suit a wide variety of flood water projects, as they are ideal for protecting commercial property and residential areas as well as larger infrastructure, highways, river ways and sea frontages.
Ideal where space is scarce or areas where water may rise to unusual levels, the flood blocks are both fast and easy to install and available in three aesthetically pleasing finishes so blend perfectly into the local environment.
As customer requirements are individual, so are the flood walls. They are designed to suit project specific size requirements by the Marshalls CPM Design team and are versatile enough to achieve height without compromising on strength.
For more information please visit https://www.cpm-group.com/products/retaining-walls/flood-walls/
The argument for using precast concrete drainage products over other drainage materials has always been a compelling one, as the environmentally friendly, sustainable, heat resistant concrete continues to gain strength throughout its service life and leading drainage manufacturers, Marshalls CPM offering a 120 year design life on all of their precast concrete drainage products, its certainly one you can trust in.
In fact, Marshalls CPM have a 525mm ogee pipe at their Mells works in Somerset that was originally installed alongside the old castle in Norwich in 1891 and was excavated in June 1991 that shows no signs of deterioration and is structurally sound. When tested the pipe satisfied the requirements of the current standards for concrete pipes even though there were no standards when it was originally manufactured in 1891.
During the summer of this year, Marshalls CPM supplied flexible jointed concrete pipes to a £15m new sewer project in Frome Valley, Bristol which included the replacement of an existing pipe run to increase capacity for new developments in the area.
This work included digging up an old pipeline which included a 525mm rocker pipe that was manufactured at the Mells works in 1987. The rocker pipe is in perfect condition and has brought back many happy memories for employees, many of whom were just starting their working life with the Company in 1987.
When looking for a sustainable product that you can trust in, you can’t go wrong with precast concrete drainage solutions
With the construction industry constantly looking for fast, efficient, precast modular systems that decrease the number of health and safety issues on site, offsite construction is on the increase.
With products now being manufactured offsite under factory conditions and shipped to site and installed on the same day saving valuable man hours, installation costs, storage room and the need for skilled labour.
Marshalls CPM is leading the way in the manufacture of precast concrete offsite systems, offering water management products, flatpack systems and practical precast solutions based on sound design and engineering knowledge that are cost effective and a more sustainable approach to construction.
By offering offsite precast concrete products, customers have a great certainty over costs and programme timings, reducing the movement of vehicles on site and the Marshalls CPM technical team can offer help on your bespoke offsite solution.
For more information please visit https://www.cpm-group.com/products/off-site-solutions/
The fire resistant properties of concrete are well known and in a world that can be devastated by fire in an instance, architects and planners can never underestimated the benefits of specifying concrete over more flammable materials.
Concrete is chemically inert and therefore virtually non-combustible. It has a slow rate of heat transfer, which means that using concrete retaining walls around your property can act as a fire shield.
But what about fires in our sewer system? It is true that they are rare but would you want to risk it? With damages to property and personal lawsuits, the repair bull can run into millions.
The American National Fire Protection Association is dedicated to promoting the science and improving the methods of fire prevention and protection published Bulletin NFPA No 328 which states “Manholes, sewers and similar underground conduits have long been recognized by fire protection engineers as constituting areas where fire and explosion hazards of some severity may exist. Modern civilization, accompanied by the increase number of fuel stations, solvent disposal operations, dry cleaning establishments, fuel gas production and distribution facilities, refrigeration plants and many other industrial activities with potentially dangerous gas vapor by-products make the safe operation of underground structure more difficult each year.”
For more information please visit http://www.concretepipe.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/fires_in_sewers.pdf
With a sales team who have over 100 years of experience between them, Marshalls CPM is well placed in offering precast concrete solutions to the construction industry which can be used to reduce construction time and promote sustainability, as well as offering cost savings.
By embracing innovation and modern methods of construction and the construction industry’s demand for fast efficient, modular systems, Marshalls CPM provides precast concrete products that are designed, engineered and manufactured off-site under factory conditions at one of Marshalls CPM’s two manufacturing works. One in Mells, Somerset to service the South of the UK and one in Pollington, Yorkshire to service the North.
With a shortage of skilled labour in the construction industry, Marshalls CPM has worked on solutions that minimalise the need for skilled labour on site and maximise health and safety and cost efficiencies over traditional construction methods.
As we watched in horror the flooding from Hurricane Irma devastate parts of Florida, after causing more than $10bn (£7.6bn) in damage across the Caribbean, a figure which is still rising, we must look at what we can do to protect our infrastructure, both private and commercial from such horrors.
A 2012 BBC report stated that more than five and a half million properties in England and Wales alone were deemed to be at risk from flooding and that you can make permanent changes to reduce flooding and making these alterations can reduce the time and cost of recovering from flooding but can it look decorative?
Here, at Marshalls CPM we believe it can, as our Redi-Rock™ team has developed a flood wall that is doubled sided, with three aesthetically pleasing finishes, so looks great whichever side of the wall you are on and can be installed where space is scarce.
If you need a wall to look great when the flood water has receded as well as offering protection against flooding, then look no further, as our Redi-Rock™ flood walling is what you need.
So how does it work?
The flood walls are laid on a reinforced concrete strip foundation with starter bars into the hollow core. Wall reinforcement is then fixed as the blocks are laid. Once the wall has been completed, the core is filled with concrete to form the watertight barrier, protecting the surrounding areas from the flood water.
So what next?
We are happy to visit your site, help with designs and can even help with site installation; all you need to do is get in touch. How? Please call us on 01179 814500 or email email@example.com
As the British weather continues to challenge our natural defences, the government has looked at engineered methods of protecting buildings and the surrounding area from the worsening effects that Mother Nature throws at us.
One such way in which we look to protect ourselves from flooding is the introduction of sea walls, however this has proven controversial as the unsightly walls have become a battle ground between the local residents and the tourism industry.
So is there a way to keep everyone happy?
What is needed is a walling system that is designed to withstand a one in 100 year storm and yet still looks attractive to those who both live and visit the area. Traditionally sea walls have been made from boulders, steel, concrete, aluminum, fiberglass composite and in some cases gabions and have been designed to withstand varying physical forces as well as location specific aspects, such as local climate, coastal positioning, wave regime etc.
However, a range of environmental problems and issues have arisen, including disrupting sediment movement and transport patterns. Combined with construction costs, this has led to an increasing use of other coastal management options such as beach replenishment which has proven short term and not a long term solution.
One solution which the popular coastal town of Blackpool have invested in, is a sea wall for its marine frontage of approximately 11.25 kilometres, all of which is now protected from erosion by the sea wall. However this needs constant maintenance with Engineering Services being responsible for the maintenance and improvement of seven miles of coastal defences.
Under the Coastal Protection Act, Blackpool Council must ensure the stability of the sea walls and ensure their continuing maintenance, for which a detailed Coast Protection Strategy was adopted by the Council in 1995.
Blackpool Councils twenty year coastal defence strategy has rebuild those sections of defence most in need. The £62 million of works have also been completed transforming the promenade between the Sandcastle Centre and North Pier, and a new 3.2 kilometre concrete seawall has been built along the same stretch. This has been Blackpool’s largest ever civil engineering project to date and took four years to construct working from South to North.
Rhyl on the other hand have used a retaining wall concrete block system for their West Coastal Defence works. Conventional solutions such as cladded sheet piles were considered, though the cost of the sheet piles and the associated cladding made the scheme unviable.
The retaining wall was constructed using positive connection modular blocks which incorporated a geogrid reinforced earth system and was completed within just 30 weeks, with 50 blocks being installed over a tidal cycle. Close monitoring of the finished wall and backfill showed there had been no settlement and there is little to no maintenance required.
The Rhyl scheme has proven so popular with the local community and holiday makers that it has become the flagship scheme for the regeneration of Rhyl under the Welsh Government’s North Wales Coast Strategic Regeneration Area initiative.
So can a sea wall keep everyone happy?
Visit your local seaside towns and you decide
Concrete pipeline systems manufacturers continue to innovate as the industry strives for improved pipeline and manhole construction quality and performance, delivering reduced waste, lower costs, faster build times and minimised environmental impacts.
Production techniques continue to advance and the use of modern logistics systems ensure excellent product quality and reliable service.
Responsible sourcing of raw materials from local suppliers ensures that cradle to site “pipe miles” is low and high use of recycled materials keeps embodied impacts to a minimum.
The use of modern, integrally-cast high performance seals helps maintain water tightness and integrity of joints.
The design flexibility of concrete pipeline systems means that many special features can be incorporated in the factory and simply placed into position on site. These “offsite solutions” can replace lengthy in-situ operations, thus improving site safety and product quality, reducing waste, speeding-up installation and reducing costs.
An excellent example of an offsite solution introduced recently is a concrete manhole system, packed with many benefits that will satisfy designers, contractors and operators alike. The new manhole design offers:
Reduced construction time
Decreased installation costs
Improved safety on site
Reduced carbon footprint
Concrete Manhole Construction
Traditionally, manhole construction has required the base to be formed in-situ where building of the channel, connections and benching occurs in the trench, often in wet and unpleasant conditions. The process can take around 40 hours per manhole and is not always successful, particularly in terms of leakage where egress of waste water can lead to contaminated groundwater and ingress can contribute to the common problem of overloaded sewer networks plus increased energy usage and running costs at treatment works and pumping stations.
Concrete Manhole Design
The new concrete manhole design comprises a precast concrete monolithic base unit, complete with channel and benching with predetermined combinations of inlet(s) and outlet and a new design of chamber ring with watertight, flexible joints and no lifting holes, thereby removing points of possible leakage.
Both base units and chamber rings are made with thicker, stronger walls. The robust design means that the requirement for a concrete surround is eliminated, unless specifically required. The excavation is backfilled sooner and there is less need for men to work in confined spaces. This reduces time spent in the excavation, further improving site safety and reducing installation costs.
Concrete Manhole Installation
Installation of the whole system is speedy and efficient. Once in position, wet trades are eliminated, formation of benching on site and sealing of lifting holes is avoided and follow-up operations can start immediately. Field trials indicate that time savings of over 30% can easily be achieved and costs reduced by well over 10%, particularly when installed without a concrete surround.
The system also yields environmental advantages as less concrete is used, there is less waste and less excavated material is disposed to landfill. An annual saving of over 22,000 tonnes of CO2e is estimated in the UK if all manholes manufactured by members of CPSA changed to the new precast base system.
The quality of material and finish is well above that normally achieved on site and the full system is manufactured under factory conditions by third party certified companies to ISO 9001 quality management system. Products are Kitemarked to BS EN 1917:2002 and BS 5911-3:2010Concrete Manholes and Inspection Chambers and tested under laboratory conditions.
UK Water companies have embraced the new precast manhole base system and given their acceptance to use the design for new projects in lieu of traditional in-situ construction and full acceptance is anticipated throughout the UK
More information o the new precast manhole base system can be found at https://www.cpm-group.com/products/drainage/sealed-manholes/the-perfect-manholes/