Precast solutions for AMP7

In AMP7, (the water industry’s regulatory asset management period for 2020 to 2025) the Office of Water Services (OFWAT) requires Water Companies to include a set of performance commitments relating specifically to new asset health performance, infrastructure resilience and sustainability.

OFWAT’s expectations for sewerage focus on five outcome delivery incentives

• External Sewer Flooding
• Internal Sewer Flooding
• Pollution Incidents
• Blockages
• Sewer Collapses

Water companies in England and Wales now face major penalties for flooding and pollution events on top of the cost of restoring an asset or repairing any damage.

Typical penalty costs and that of an internal flooding event, where a customer’s home is directly affected, can run into thousands of pounds, and water companies are targeted with a tight score for the number of breaches per years.

The good news is that the Government announced a multi-billion pound investment to tackle long-term flooding in July.

The £5.2 billion plan is to create around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect 336,000 properties in England by 2027. The plans also include £200 million for innovative projects such as sustainable drainage systems and nature-based solutions like temporary and permanent water storage areas.

A successful water management project recently completed to reduce pollution into local waterways is the Davyhulme wastewater treatment works in Manchester. Where Laing O’Rourke on behalf on United Utilities successfully installed precast box culverts.

The modernisation programme of the multimillion-pound project involved the remediation of previously abandoned land, followed by the construction of six circular primary settlement tanks and a large activated sludge plant with 10 circular final settlement tanks. This work lead to significant environmental benefits for the site, which resulted in outflow improvements, and subsequently the quality of water, entering the Manchester Ship Canal.

Both standard precast concrete box culverts and bespoke ‘made to order’ box culverts were supplied to the project, with Graham Flynn, Laing O’Rourke Project Director saying: “Our ability to maximise the benefits of modern, offsite construction and engineering techniques was central to our solution, meaning that we could deliver this complex scheme in a live environment with minimal disruption.”

The delivery team on the project comprised of design heavyweights Hyder Consulting and Mott MacDonald, who worked in collaboration with Laing O’Rourke; together the team has a proven record of accomplishment of designing and delivering some of the UK’s most complex water projects.

For more information on precast box culverts, please visit

New funding released to protect from flooding

The National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England has identified ways in which we can adjust to the threat of flooding and coastal change. 

This includes a commitment for the Risk Management Authorities to mainstream property flood resilience measures that can reduce flood damages and enable faster recovery for local communities;

As part of this commitment, the Government has set out measures, including investment of £5.2 billion to create around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect 336,00 properties in England by 2027.

The plans also include £200 million for innovative projects such as sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) and nature-based solutions like temporary or permanent water storage areas, which also boost wildlife.

 These will support 25 areas at risk of flooding to test and demonstrate innovative actions to adapt to a changing climate and improve their resilience.

In addition, up to £170 million is to be spent to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction in 2020 or 2021.

So how can we help with protecting against flooding?

We offer a host of below ground water management solutions, which include the capture, control, conveyance, storage (attenuate), treatment and discharge (release) back into the watercourse and the major benefit of using precast SuDS solutions (Sustainable Drainage Systems) is that you can build on top of them so there is no loss of land-take.

Using a precast concrete solution minimises the growth of algae and therefore doesn’t impact on the efficiency of control systems, such as pumps and valves within the storage tank and those supplied by Marshalls CPM have a 100 year design lifecycle so will not need replacing giving you peace of mind.

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Above ground, we offer Redi-Rock retaining walls that are designed and manufactured to suit a wide variety of floodwater projects.  These include protecting commercial properties, residential areas, highways, river ways and sea frontages.  

The natural looking stone blocks are ideal for where space is scarce or areas where water may rise to unusual levels, as they can be double sided so look great whatever side of the wall you are on. For more information, please visit

When the heat is on, you can trust concrete

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.”

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Modern Methods of Construction

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.