Lanes Group drainage expertise supports power station demolition

Lanes Group has been commissioned to provide specialist drainage survey and cleaning support for a demolition team decommissioning a coal-fired power station.

Drainage engineers from the national drainage and maintenance specialist’s depot at Sevenoaks, in Kent, are carrying out the work at the site of the former Kingsnorth Power Station in Kent.

Energy company E.ON has given demolition specialists Brown and Mason the task of decommissioning the 2,000 megawatt power station, which ceased generating electricity in December 2012.

Lanes Group teams have carried out CCTV surveys on surface and foul water drains. They have also cleaned eight drainage interceptors, including two fuel oil interceptors, two pump house interceptors, and three car park interceptors.

Neville Pantin, Contract Manager for Brown and Mason, said: “Lanes Group has done some excellent work for us. They’ve supplied some very detailed drainage survey reports which will help us plan our demolition work.

“Cleaning out the drain interceptors was not easy. A number of them were heavily contaminated with oil, which was difficult to work with. But they stuck to the task, and worked professionally and safely.”

Lanes deployed a jet vac tanker team and a two-person CCTV drainage survey team to carry out the work on the site on the Hoo peninsular at Medway.

Most of the interceptor waste could be taken off site to be disposed of at an authorised waste management facility. A quantity of oily sludge was stored on site, ready to be disposed of by Brown and Mason.

John Gilbert, Area Development Manager for Lanes Sevenoaks, said: “Working on former energy generation sites like this present a range of challenges, especially during an active decommissioning and demolition programme.

“These include managing high volumes of contaminated and hazardous waste, safe access to worksites, working on extensive and often unmapped drainage systems, and managing the scope and size of the task while maintaining the quality standards expected by both Lanes Group and the client.

“We have worked on many similar energy generation sites, including nuclear power sites, so have the experience, skills and equipment needed to complete these complex programmes of work.”

Lanes Group works with many other national and international companies to facilitate their site exit strategies, including petro-chemical and pharmaceutical firms.

They select Lanes Group because the disposal and redevelopment process is often long, complex and commercially sensitive, so they need to work with drainage contractors who they can trust and can build long-term relationships with.

Kingsnorth Power Station was built between 1963 and 1973 on the site of a former World War I airship base. It was commissioned in 1975, providing electricity for the London power grid.

The power station, which could also burn oil, was closed to meet UK and EU commitments on greenhouse gas reduction. These included compliance with the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive, which has required the closure of power stations without flue gas desulphurisation systems.

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Lanes Group surveys centuries-old culverts at National Trust house

Wallington-culverts-Lanes-Group-2Drainage and maintenance specialist Lanes Group has helped investigate stone culverts thought to be up to 300 years old at a National Trust stately home that is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the north east of England.

The National Trust needed to make substantial changes to the drainage system at Grade I listed Wallington Hall, near Morpeth, in Northumberland, to take pressure off its sewage treatment system.

It called in Joyce Construction and Civils to lead the work. When their investigations revealed a network of stone culverts, they needed expert help to fully understand how they functioned.

Lanes Group’s Newcastle Depot carried out detailed CCTV HD video drainage surveys of the culverts, which were lined with sandstone slabs.

All the Lanes team’s actions were overseen, authorised and recorded by an archaeologist appointed by the National Trust, to ensure the site was preserved, and to be on hand in case the work revealed any important finds.

Joyce Construction and Civils Operations Manager Shaun Myerscough said: “The culverts were taking rainwater from the roof downpipes of the main hall, so were among the oldest drainage on the site.

“A key part of our work was to understand exactly what each pipe did and where it ran, because our job was to split the surface water drainage from the foul water drainage.

“Lanes Group team did a very good job of working with our team and the archaeologist, and providing highly-detailed survey reports that allowed us to plan our civil engineering work with confidence.”

Previously, all surface water and foul water had been channelled into a wastewater treatment plant, which had reached its capacity.

To avoid having to install a new or second one, the decision was made to divert the surface water, allowing it to run into natural water courses, significantly reducing pressure on the wastewater treatment plant.

Lanes Group engineers surveyed 200 metres of rectangular stone culverts, which were about 18 inches in diameter, and made up about 40 per cent of the surface water drainage system for the hall and associated buildings.

Trevor Sawyer, Area Development Manager for the Lanes Newcastle Depot, said: “The culverts were in remarkably good condition, given their age. We were very pleased to be able to help Joyce Construction and Civils and the National Trust with this project.

“We have a great deal of experience in working on conservation sites. Our skills, as national leaders in no dig sewer inspection and repairs, are ideally suited to work which requires no disruption to heritage structures.

National Trust Building Surveyor Brian Rochester said: “The project involved updating the drainage infrastructure, and was much needed.

“It included separating surface and foul water in and around Wallington Estate. Due to the archaeological sensitivity of the area we were working in, we adapted and reused as much of the original pipework and culverts as we could.

“The Lanes Group team helped achieve this through detailed CCTV surveys, giving a greater understanding of what we could leave in place or would have to be renewed. This gave us time and cost savings.

“We have a responsibility to protect the buildings and their infrastructure in our care, and we are very satisfied with the work undertaken by Lanes Group as part of a project with Joyce Construction and Civils as the main contractor.

“To have this project completed ahead of a busy new season of visitors coming to Wallington, was of paramount importance to us.”

Lanes Group: www.lanesfordrains.co.uk.

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