Install of environmentally friendly foul drainage solution for Birmingham University

Install of environmentally friendly foul drainage solution for Birmingham University

We’ve been installing sewage treatment solutions for almost 30 years and can install them in even the trickiest of conditions. But last year we were given an installation challenge unlike any other…

The challenge

Birmingham University were undertaking a project to facilitate a 10 year carbon dioxide enrichment experiment at the prestigious BIFOR experiment research facility at Mill Haft Woods. This was to demonstrate the effects of the ever increasing CO2 levels on trees, plants, soils, insects and other organisms. To help facilitate this experiment, they needed a foul drainage system to be installed that would have zero impact on the environment.

Shaylor Group, an award-winning construction contractor with offices based in the Midlands, London and the South West, had been appointed to carry out all the works necessary for this incredibly sensitive project for the University. They had been asked to maintain the site at Mill Haft Wood in an “untouched state”  to avoid compromising the experiment in any way. This meant a no dig, no concrete policy. Any essential structures, such as the enrichment towers and the welfare facility, had to be mounted on screw piles.

The Solution

Neil Cappell from Shaylor approached us to provide specialist help in developing a sustainable foul drainage solution for the researchers. The design criteria stated they needed an above ground solution with a design life of 15 years. The tricky part was that we were not allowed to excavate the ground or use any concrete to install it.

We don’t like to shy away from a challenge though and we successfully installed a complete above ground sewage grinder pump station, rising main and storage vessel to maintain the facility. The system comprised of twin macerator pumps and control gear, non return valves and a structural HDPE 13,000 litre tank with telemetry warning the users of an upcoming need for emptying.

Neil Cappell commented: “The guys at Cotterill Civils responded quickly and efficiently to my request. They came out to the site to get a full understanding of our requirement and  produced a workable scheme that we then engaged them to carry out. I was really impressed by Cotterill Civils’ diligence throughout the project and would have no hesitation in recommending them.”

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