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Double contract win for Barhale to improve flood resilience

21st June 2021

Barhale has landed a duo of new contracts from South Holland Internal Drainage Board (IDB) to install, reinforce and renovate key drainage works in Lincolnshire.

The infrastructure and civil engineering specialist will undertake works at two locations across the southern part of the county:

First, at Fleet Haven Pumping Station, Barhale will renovate the inlet, outfall and surge chamber. The station removes water collected by the drains to the sea and is essential for the protection of the surrounding land and villages which typically lies one metre below high sea level. Unusually, because of its location next to RAF Holbeach, the site will undergo “sweep and watch” protocols for unexploded ordnance before and during any excavation work.

Second, a renovation programme at Westmere Pumping Station/Sluice will address the poor structural condition of the outfall into the River Nene, ensuring the continued operation of the station, which caters for the discharge of surface water from the village of Sutton Bridge and the surrounding agricultural area.

Keven Stobbs, general manager at Barhale, explained that at Fleet Haven and Westmere the pumping stations are in the first line of defence for the low-lying land behind the seawall and both locations provide operational challenges.

“We obviously have to work around the elements – not least a significant tidal range,” he said. “To ensure we deliver the works as quickly as possible, we are planning on using some innovative approaches. They will include installing a Portadam system at Fleet Haven Pumping Station and using a specially-designed scaffolding which can be submerged at high tides at Westmere Pumping Station.”

Barhale regional director James Haddon sees the company’s selection for both South Holland IDB contracts as an endorsement of its expertise and reputation at a time when water management is a high priority.

“Long-term changes to the climate will continue to place a greater burden on water infrastructure,” he said. “Only in the last 18 months have we seen the impact of storms Ciara and Dennis and it is vital that we make sure that we are in the right shape to deal with future challenges.

“South Holland IDB is taking steps to improve the resilience of this important agricultural area and we are delighted to have been chosen as the partner to deliver their programme.”