Bringing a Rea of hope to Birmingham

Nearly £2M is being invested to improve CSOs in two Birmingham suburbs. Contractor Barhale has been using Weholite HDPE solutions to fulfil the work.

Major investment into the infrastructure of two Birmingham suburbs is making use of the most innovative construction materials available on the market to prevent residents suffering from floods caused by sewers overflowing during periods of heavy rainfall.

The two projects form part of Severn Trent Water’s programme to improve more than 80 combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the Birmingham area.

This is set to improve the environmental quality of the River Tame, and recently received a silver award at Severn Trent Water’s Quality Working Day. Undertaking two groundbreaking installations at Quarry Lane and Stratford Road, in the Northfields and Sparkhill suburbs of the city, main contractor Barhale used the latest large diameter Weholite high-density polyethylene (HDPE) water-management solutions. The works were being undertaken on behalf of Severn Trent Water as part of AMP4 upgrade projects in the area.

A total of £1.8M was budgeted for the works, which will be conducted over a six-month period. Quarry Lane was completed in March and Stratford Road is expected

to be finished soon.

Already being used successfully in other sites for both clean and wastewater projects, the HDPE water-management solutions, manufactured in the UK by Asset International, helps contractors to:

  • Complete the work in less time
  • Minimise the disruption to local residents
  • Reduce the need for expensive heavy lifting equipment.

The pipes, which are strong, light and flexible, are available in longer lengths than many other materials.

Reduced costs

Site agent Dave James says: “This is the first time this material has been used in Birmingham for a CSO chamber, and it will be carefully monitored throughout its lifespan to measure how effective it is. Other successful installations across the UK have proved that it is more than capable of doing the job.

“The decision to use Weholite was taken because it is so easy to work with. Using the Litespeed CSO chamber at Quarry Lane turned a 12-week job into an eight-week job, reducing our time on-site by a third. This not only helps to reduce the cost, but also minimise disruption to local residents.”

Weholite was used to manufacture the 3m-diameter and 9m-long prefabricated Litespeed CSO in Newport, South Wales – Asset International’s plant for producing a range of advanced technology polyethylene drainage pipes – and then transported by road already complete and ready for installation at the Quarry Lane site.

Only one of the four new CSO chambers being installed across the Northfield area will be Litespeed. However, the numbers are increasing as other infrastructure companies and engineering contractors across the UK use the material more often.

The chamber houses a sophisticated screen mechanism that skims solid waste from the sewer system during flood conditions.

This was preceded by the installation of a Weholite attenuation tank at Stratford Road that takes the excess water from the sewer system at times of high demand.

The 2.1m diameter and 300m long overflow tank can store up to 1M litres of excess water from the system and release it when the infrastructure is better able to cope with it. Weholite is so light that even larger tanks can be fabricated off-site and delivered ready for installation, making further time savings at the construction stage.

A CSO chamber can be supplied complete and installed into the sewer system in a fraction of the time it takes to fabricate a tank on site.

Asset International has exclusive UK and Ireland rights to manufacture the Weholite range of structured wall pipe, which was first developed in Finland.

Weholite is recognised as a lightweight, durable, easy-to-install and abrasion-resistant product, which is tolerant of ground movements.

It is manufactured in internal diameters from 400mm to 3,000mm. The low-pressure, high-technology pipe offers the construction and water industries a low overall cost solution across a range of applications, including surface drainage, foul sewers, inter-process pipe work, culverts, attenuation tanks, ducting and outfalls.

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