EEL PROTECTION SCHEME

River Bure (Belaugh)

The Eel Regulation Compliance project at the River Bure in Belaugh is for installation of eel friendly screening equipment at our abstraction point on the river. The work is driven by the need for Essex & Suffolk Water to comply with the Eels Regulations (2009) and will improve the biodiversity value in the River Bure.

Project updates

Update by Nicola Wigington

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.

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Update by Nicola Wigington

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.

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Update by Nicola Wigington

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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boardman%27s_Windmill

 

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Update by Nicola Wigington

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.

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Update by Nicola Wigington

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!

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Update by Nicola Wigington

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.

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Update by Nicola Wigington

Works are starting this week on site establishment, setting up a welfare area within the grounds of the pumping station 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.

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Update by Nicola Wigington

Site establishment will begin at Belaugh in a couple of weeks' time (from Monday 15th June). The welfare and storage area will be set up at the Pumping Station site. At the river, preparations will be made for the piling works which we expect will start towards the end of June. More details will follow when the dates are confirmed.

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Update by Nicola Wigington

We're expecting to start on site in the next few weeks and in the lead up to this our contract team have been working hard to finalise the designs. They have provided a 3D model to give you an idea of what the final installation will look like (click on the thumbnail picture to see an expanded view). You can see on the model the three cylindrical screens underwater, the floating boom in front of the screens to separate them from passing river traffic and the kiosk that will house the rest of the equipment.

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Update by Nicola Wigington

As mentioned in my previous update, our projects have been reviewed taking into account the benefits as well as our ability to deliver them safely and this project has been given approval to proceed. Although the main driver for the Eel Screens Programme is regulatory we are also replacing the existing outdated screening systems, for the Belaugh project this means that there will be a significant improvement in the resilience of the supplies to over 51,000 properties in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Our works will take place in line with the government guidance on social distancing and sanitation. Any part of the works that cannot be carried out within the guidelines will be postponed until the situation changes or will be redesigned for safe delivery. We would also appreciate it if you would remain at a safe distance from the site team while the work is underway.

The schedule of the works has already been affected which has delayed the start and it is also likely that the overall timescale will be longer than originally planned to enable us to work within these new rules. The works are still in the planning stage but we expect to start on site soon, probably in late May or early June. I’ll be posting more updates as the project progresses.

If you would like more information about Essex & Suffolk Water’s works and services in relation to Covid-19 please take a look at our main website, I’ve included some useful links below.

ESW Website, COVID-19 General Information and Advice:

https://www.eswater.co.uk/help/covid-19/

ESW Website, Essex & Suffolk Water’s COVID-19 response:

https://www.eswater.co.uk/help/essex-and-suffolk-water-covid19-response-information/

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