I hope the summer months have been a tonic to everyone and that we have managed to enjoy as much of the outdoors as possible in these restricted times.
Work on site at the pumping station has continued and we now have all 4 new pumps installed and available to extract water. The first 2 pumps were commissioned at the end of May and went through a 28-day Reliability trial with very few issues. Subsequently, the remaining old pumps were removed along with all the old remaining ageing power transformers and switchgear. The second 2 new pumps were then installed and commissioned during the last week of September and these are now in their Reliabilty trial phase. During the commissioning period and despite the very low river levels, we managed briefly to prove that the new pumps could abstract the maximum licenced value of 164 Ml/d (million litres per day) of river water, probably the first time this has been achieved for very many years.
The next, and almost final, phase of work is to install our new "eel-friendly" intake bandscreen which as mentioned in my last report is required for us to comply with The Eels (England and Wales) Regulations 2009. Work will be starting in earnest on 26th October when we take delivery of the framework and control panel which will be assembled on site then lifted into position at the intake. There will be a 30/40 ton mobile crane on site for a couple of weeks while installation commences. The actual screen panel is due to arrive around the 3rd week of November and commissioning of the screen will start shortly afterwards.
As we enter 2021, most work will be complete and it is expected that our contractor IWS's site cabins will then be removed. There will be some additional work by ourselves to replace the old buried delivery line flowmeters within the site boundary sometime at the end of 2020/early 2021. This depends on component delivery times which are being delayed by world-wide Covid related issues.
Once again, should you have any queries or questions, please contact me via this portal.
We have a busy couple of weeks ahead of us with the divers coming to site late this week to install the screens into the river. There are likely to be a few more people on site than you may have previously noticed and with that in mind we'll be taking extra care to work within the government's construction guidelines for Covid-19 and keep distanced appropriately. With the additional activity you might notice a bit more noise during this period while the new screens and the wash system are being put through their paces but this will only be during normal working hours. I'll share some more photos of the site progress in my next update.
More good progress was made on site last week. The kiosk was installed first and the control equipment was placed inside on Friday. Electrical connections and testing will follow.
The infrastructure needs to be finished before the eel screens can be installed but if progress continues to remain on track the screens should be going in at the end of this month or early October. That activity will be weather-dependant as it will involve a dive team working in the river.
Feedback on the recent archaeological investigations has been received and it appears to be most likely that the flint wall was part of an old drainage wind pump, as the historical records suggested, although no dating material was recovered during the investigation to provide solid proof. Historic maps of 1879 and 1881 show a wind pump slightly to the east of the location of the wall but close enough that it may have been directly associated. The drainage pump did not feature on the 1905 OS map so it had likely disappeared long before the modern intake was created (approx. 1960s). The original Mill was probably similar to the Boardman's Drainage Pump, details of which can be viewed on Wikipedia at the address below:
Great day at the Waveney yesterday installing the new kiosk. It was another hot one but the work went really well. The photos show the crane manoeuvring the kiosk into place and its final position on the steel supporting framework. It's been raised off the ground to keep it clear of floodwaters.
The archaeologists are still working on their final report so I'll feedback on that once we receive it.
We've continued with the civils works on site, the piling went well and the steel framework to support the new kiosk is being manufactured so will be delivered to site soon. The same team are working on a related project on the River Waveney in Suffolk so across the two sites they've made really good progress.
The attached pictures show the recent piling activity in action.
The piling works went well, the framework for the new kiosk to sit on has been installed and the kiosk itself will be arriving on site this week. The site is really starting to come together. A few pictures below show the recent progress.
We haven't had the full report back from the archaeologists yet but Norfolk County Council have reviewed it and given us the green light to continue with the piling works next week. The piles have been re-sited so they won't interfere with the flint wall in any way. The piling is now planned for Thursday 16th and Friday 17th.
This week the team have continued on grounds preparation works and installing some ducting. They had a fabulous view of the river today with the sun perfectly placed for a mirror effect. There are definitely worse places to work!
The piling works were due to be completed this week but were put on hold when the team spotted an old flint wall at the edge of the excavation for the preparatory works. We called in some archaeologists to take a look and assess the findings. Norfolk heritage records indicate it to be the remnants of an old drainage mill, possibly from the 19th century but we'll wait for the archaeological report to verify this. In the meantime, the team have moved the excavation and the planned location of the piles away from the wall to avoid causing any damage. The piling has been rescheduled for the week beginning Monday 13th July, pending the outputs of the archaeologist's report.
The project is progressing well and on schedule. This week the team have been working on preparatory groundworks. Handrailing on the bridge over New Dyke has been completed (see photo) and some additional ducting has been installed up to the location of the new kiosk. The piling works were originally planned for this week but have been rescheduled due to subcontractor availability so it's now due to be done in the week beginning Monday 13th July.
Works are continuing this week at the river intake, installing handrailing on the existing concrete bridge over New Dyke to make it safer to cross and preparing for the piling works which are due to start in the week commencing 29th June. The piling will create a foundation to support the new control kiosk and there will be three piles installed. The work will be done during normal working hours and is expected to last a maximum of two days. There is likely to be some intermittent percussive noise while the piles are driven in (similar to the ground investigation borehole works that were done in January). Our installation team will aim to keep any disturbance to a minimum and the piling technique chosen for this job is 'bottom driven' which is a much quieter method than traditional top hammering techniques.
The photos attached to this update show the initial ground preparations that have been done for the kiosk installation.