An important installation for controlling flow levels in the Bedford catchment area, the Denver Complex has existed in one way or another since 1651. Initially built to bar tides from the Low Fen area, the site is now part of a wider network of gates designed to control water flow.
The water from the Bedford catchment, instead of flowing out to the Wash, has been diverted through a series of channels, tunnels and a pipeline to reverse the flow. The Diversion and Impounding sluices form part of this system, which is designed to redirect up to 318 million litres of excess water a day over into Essex reservoirs 140km away.
Denver Impounding Sluice itself comprises three sluice gates weighing in excess of 5 tonnes, each lifted by a counterweight of 5.6 tonnes. Stop logs are installed to allow isolation of the gates if needed. The Environment Agency had noted that the site was in need of renovation to ensure future reliability, so it approached ECS to overhaul the stoplogs.
ECS Engineering Services is a leading provider of engineering solutions to government institutions, local authorities and private companies. Water control is a specialty, with a full turnkey design, fabrication, installation and testing service available to its customers.
After carrying out extensive inspections of the site, ECS refurbished the stop logs, which weighed up to 2.2 tonnes and measured 8 metres long. Each stoplog was removed from site by crane and transported to ECS’ third-party test facility. A formal Inspection & Test Plan by structural engineers was followed, to allow each of the 6 stop logs to be certified for load tests and lifting points. On successful completion of testing, the logs were then further transported for shot blasting and painting to MEICA specifications. New seals and fixings were then sourced and replaced. The stop logs were delivered back to site for reinstallation. ECS also undertook remedial work to the stop log channels to ensure the structure would allow the correct deployment of the stop logs.
New chains were needed to help lift the gates, which were supplied from America. It was imperative to complete the work to schedule, so that the sluice was back to full operating capacity quickly.
On the diversion sluice, ECS were tasked with surveying existing stop log channels to then design, calculate, fabricate and supply a new set of stop logs, along with the design, calculation, fabrication and installation of new storage racking.
It took 300 years to build a system to drain water in the Bedford Catchment area effectively. Now fully improved, the Diversion and Impounding sluices at the Denver Complex are ready to continue performing this vital task for a long time to come.
Image 1: The Denver Diversion and Impounding sluice improvement works have been completed by ECS Engineering Services on behalf of the Environment Agency.
Image 2: ECS Engineering Services were tasked with surveying existing stop log channels to then design, calculate, fabricate and supply a new set of stop logs, along with the design, calculation, fabrication and installation of new storage racking.
ECS Engineering Services has over 30 years experience in delivering high quality, reliable and cost effective engineering solutions, specialising in bespoke design and construction of water, energy and environmental processing and management projects.
In conjunction with key supply partners, ECS has the expertise and capacity to design and install a wide range of water control engineering projects. With in-house fabrication services, which have CE Marking approval to EXC4, well equipped and highly skilled engineers can also complete structural steelwork, bespoke fabrication work and access metalwork to the highest standard.
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