After 17 years of investigation, assessment
and consultation, work to enlarge Essex & Suffolk Waters reservoir
near Colchester by 58 per cent is getting underway.
In addition to the enhancement of Abberton
Reservoir, the Abberton Scheme also includes the installation of two large
raw water pipelines, one from Kirtling Green to Wixoe in Suffolk and the
other from Wormingford to Abberton Reservoir. Essex & Suffolk Water
is investing £150 million on the complete Scheme, which will help
ensure a secure water supply to one and half million people in Essex.
Essex is one of the driest county in the
UK, receiving on average less than 600mm of rain a year. In a dry year,
Essex already has a shortage of water compared with demand. This is predicted
to rise even further, almost entirely due to a significant increase in
population in the area.
The enlarged reservoir will hold an additional
15 billion litres of water and will be fully operational by 2014. The
water level of the reservoir is being raised by three metres and its footprint
is increasing by 40 per cent. As well as providing a vital new water resource
the enlarged reservoir has been designed to provide benefits for the local
community and wildlife.
During dry conditions, no additional
water is available within Essex to supply the county. Essex has
relied on transfers of water from the Ely Ouse in Norfolk to fill
its reservoirs since the 1970s, particularly during dry periods.
The Environment Agency currently
transfers water from Denver in Norfolk to Essex when it is needed
to fill Abberton and Hanningfield reservoirs via the Ely Ouse to
Essex Transfer Scheme (EOETS). Under the scheme, surplus water which
would otherwise flow to the Wash, is transferred to Essex.
<<<< DENVER on the River
the brochure published by ESW
It was orignallly known as the Wormingford
to Abberton Transfer Scheme
However after consulation, the Pumping Station was moved half a
mile west to Staunch Farm, which had far better access facilities.
This placed the project in the Parish of Mount Bures.. The publicity
literature was never updated
Due to current pumping and storage constraints,
Essex & Suffolk Water cannot always fully utilise water when it is
available in the River Stour. The enlarged reservoir and the additional
intake from the River Stour at Wormingford will provide the opportunity
to abstract and store additional water from the River Stour during high
flow conditions which usually occur during the winter.
Transferring the water
Water is currently brought from Norfolk to Abberton and Hanningfield reservoirs
through a number of large pipelines and by using rivers.
In order to transfer additional water to
Abberton Reservoir, the existing transfer system needs to be improved.
The plan is to lay two underground pipelines,
one from Kirtling Green in Suffolk to Wixoe on the Essex/Suffolk border
where the additional water will be put into the River Stour. An
additional pumping station will be provided near Wormingford, Essex, where
water will be abstracted from the River Stour and transferred via a second
new pipeline to Abberton Reservoir.
The pipeline from Wormingford to Abberton will be approximately 16km long,
carrying a pipe 1200mm in diameter.
It is proposed to abstracted over an 18-month period (commencing 1 April
each year) 100,000 million litres of water.
Download the route map from
Bures to Abberton
courtesy of Essex and Suffolk Water.
There is no access
to the River via Staunch Farm and its access road from the B1508.
This is Private Property.
Landscaped Break Tank
The location of the extraction pump
will be on the Essex side of the River Stour along B1508 out of
Bures, just before you reach the bottom of Wormingford Hill.
A pipeline from the
Pumping Station will then run across the fields, over Lodge (Wormingford)
Hill and cross the main road (B1508) near to the "Crown PH".
This will continue to a "Break Pressure Tank" just along
the Fordham Road on the left. This has been fenced of for the last
couple of years, waiting for the work to start on this section of
the pipeline in January 2011.
The "Break Tank" is located
at the highest point of the route, water will be pumped from the
River Stour to the tank. From the tank it will flow the remainder
of the route by gravity.
courtesy of Essex and Suffolk Water.
The contract for supplying
the pipes was awarded to FT Pipelines.
FT Pipeline Systems and FT Ductile have been
working together in supplying pipe to a major water scheme in the South
East of England since April 2010. The Abberton Reservoir Enhancement Scheme
(Essex & Suffolk Water), involves increasing the capacity of the existing
reservoir by raising the level of the water. This is necessary to meet increased
demands for water over the coming years. The FT Group has recently supplied
a range of pipe diameters and materials including ductile iron and steel
pipe, fittings and associated pipeline products.
The reservoir enhancement project involves
rerouting 600mm, 900mm, 1000mm and 1200mm diameter pipelines (totalling
nearly 4kms), and the associated works for several new pumping stations.
Welded steel pipe has been chosen for the main pipe runs to remove the
requirement for thrust blocks and to allow an epoxy internal lining to
be used. Cement mortar was not a consideration because of tiger mussel
infestation. External coating is the standard 3 layer polyethylene offered
on all our systems.
A further consideration of the specification
was the safety issues surrounding man access of pipes. FTPS is able to
provide a solution through their E Joint technology. This allows the welding
process to be completed without damaging the internal lining, thereby
removing the need to access the pipe.
Acknowledgment to http://www.waterbriefing.org
The pipes and specials for the Abberton
reservoir raising project were supplied by FT pipeline systems, the pipes
were manufactured in Turkey by Erciyas utilising the E joint,
the specials ( bends/elbows/inspection hatches etc) were manufactured
"E Joint" technology explanation:-
The pipes for the Wormingford to Abberton
pipeline were manufactured in Spain by "STS" and utilise a double
The specials are manufactured by
Freeflow in the UK
The pipes from Spain are shipped to Felixstowe Dock in loads of 140. Eight
ship loads, would be required to cover the 16km pipeline
courtesy of Essex and Suffolk Water.
deliver them to Farrans Depots along the pipeline route.
The pipes are 4ft (1200mm) wide x 48ft (14.97m) in length.
This calculates to 67 pipes per Km
or 110 per mile
The delivery lorry
can only carry 4 at a time - this means a minimum of 267 lorry journeys
to cover the 16km length of the works.
The pipeline will have a capacity of 145
Ml (145.000.000 Litres) per day, this is the max higher transfer rate
possible as their is insufficientt capacity in the upper reaches of the
This is equavalent to 32 million
(this only details the work from the River Stour
to the Break Pressure Tank at the top of Wormingford Hill)
Wormingford Abberton Pipeline
Farrans have now established their management offices at Layer Water Treatment
Works and activity is commencing with the fencing of the working area
and clearance of vegetation. Teams will begin at Wormingford and work
south along the pipeline route. The topsoil stripping team will follow
and pipe deliveries are programmed to start before the end of January.
Work will also begin on the establishment of working compounds at Wormingford
and on the Halstead Road at Eight Ash Green. Pipelaying activities are
scheduled to commence at Wormingford in early February 2011
Topsoil removed ready for pipelaying
Birmingham University(Archaeological Group)carried out a detailed study
of the route at the base of Lodge Hill looking for any archaeological
evidence. Apart from small pieces of flint and other minor objects, nothing
of importance was found so as to jeopardise the planned route.
Wormingford Abberton Pipeline
Before work starts to lay the pipeline a number of enabling activities
need to be completed. These works are progressing well with fencing
of the working area, clearance of vegetation and topsoil stripping
now complete along 12km of the pipeline route. Pipe deliveries began
in the middle of February starting at Wormingford and moving south
along the pipeline route. During week commencing 28th February pipe
laying activities will begin along with works at the main construction
compound on the A1124 Halstead Road at Eight Ash Green. During March
the final few kilometers of topsoil stripping, vegetation clearance
and fencing will be completed and the main construction compound
at Eight Ash Green will come into full use.
Pipe laying will start from the River
Stour in Wormingford moving south to the Break Tank site in Wormingford
village. This will involve crossing Main Road in Wormingford. Temporary
traffic control will be in place in this area from 14th March for
1 week. Pipe laying will also start at the southern end of the pipeline,
just south of Layer de la Haye, and work north. Access to the working
area will be from the B1026, opposite the Reservoir Enlargement
Feb 21st:- Pipes arrive at the northern
end of the pipeline
March 7th:- Welding
of pipes at the Wormingford end commences.
4 to 5 joints per day are completed.
March 12th:- First pipes across
the fields to Lodge Hills buried. Unfortunately it looks as though the
water table is filling the trenches making the welding impossible. See
Large pumps are attempting to remove the water.
Even the Welding Gantry has submerged into the water and mud See
April 25th:- The concreting stage
of the Break Pressure Tank along the Fordham Rd complete.
This is simply a concrete box half buried in the ground and half above
ground, which will be covered in soil and grassed over, so will appear
like a grass mound when finished. see
July 15th:- Commencing work on the
Staunch Farm Pumping Station adjacent to the River Stour
September 6th:- Week commencing
5th September will see UK Power Networks on site to install the power
supply to the Wormingford Pumping station site. Works at Wormingford Break
Tank continue throughout September with the installation of site pipe
work, followed by construction of the embankments to the tank.
The entire 16Km of pipework is now in the ground.
October - Fields around Wormingford
and Forham restored back to agricultural use
December - Pressure Tank, Forham Road now with covered with soil
embankment, waiting landscaping.
March - Pressure Tank earthworks
seeded with grass
March/April/May - work in progress
on the Pumping Station building adjacent to the River Stour
Intake of water direct from the Stour.
Water is fed into a lower chamber
inside the building, where its filtered to remove any debris from
It`s then fed into the high pressure
pumps on the floor above before entering the main discharge pipe
to the Wormingford pressure tank
water transfer pumps inside main building.
December 1st- Pumps and pipework
now delivering water from the Stour to Abberton
Test running pumps and pipework
Pumping Station nearing completion except for minor landscaping
Local Research and Images by Alan Beales
Also thanks to Louise Evans, Communications Advisor, Essex & Suffolk
Aerial view of pipeline work courtesy of eswater.
Works manager at Staunch Farm