• Client:
    Northumbrian Water Ltd
  • Location:
  • Contract Value:

The project consisted of drainage upgrades and flood relief using a 15m deep shaft which was 10.5m in diameter with a pump return to Mechanical and Electrical specification.

The site was situated in Hylton Castle, approximately 3.7 miles west of Sunderland City Centre. The site is located in the existing grassland area to the south of Fawcett Terrace on the Grange Road junction of Barrons Quay Road. Castletown Primary School is immediately to the south of the shaft tank working area.

The scheme was designed to reduce the risk of flooding to the properties that were located in the immediate vicinity of the works with the primary working area being located within the grounds of Castletown Primary School. Due to the high number of properties that were at risk of flooding we installed an 890m3 offline detention tank with associated pipe work and M&E.

During the installation of the detention tank we diverted existing utilities and installed a 3 phase electric supply in order to supply the necessary power to the detention tank.

Once all of the sub-surface works had been completed we also undertook hard and soft landscaping, erected all new boundary fencing as well as construct a new layby and carry out masonry and iron works, which encompassed the construction of a new wall and railings to front of school.

Value Engineering

Design changes were made to the shaft through contractor design which incorporated the use of galvanised mild steel for the cover which was contractor engineering and included a reinforced concrete cover slab and all associated M&E connections.

We were able to provide a cost saving on the shaft design as well as reducing the necessary base construction it provided a saving to the contract circa £15k.


One major innovative procedure on this project came with the on the job development of the drainage by installing non-standard manholes due to existing utilities providing an obstruction in order to achieve the necessary output.

For the backfill operations undertaken on the site we were able to incorporate the use of recycled type 1 material. Although the project was billed as standard drainage installation, because we installed a 10m diameter segmental shaft via underpinning coupled with the installation of the Reinforced concrete slab weighing up to 30 tonnes  meant that the project took on a more complex nature as these types of materials require “complex lifts” to ensure that they are carried out and executed correctly.

Added Value

Throughout the project we were dedicated to engaging and educating the local community about the Civil Engineering industry and the type of works we undertake. This site allowed for over 100 students and teachers from Castletown Primary School visit the installation of a storage tank in the school’s playing field as part of a £600,000 project by Northumbrian Water to upgrade the surrounding sewer network. As part of the works a huge excavation was created to prevent storm water causing flood damage in the future. Prior to the visit Esh Group’s Added Value team delivered a ‘Stay Safe’ session with the students. During the assembly site staff and ‘Dudley the Elephant’, Esh Group’s Site Safety Mascot highlighted the dangers of construction sites and allowed the children to ask any questions prior to the visit.

Lumsden and Carroll provided personal protective equipment (PPE) for all students and teachers and created a secure walk way and viewing platform to allow students to see the ongoing works. As part of Northumbrian Water’s ongoing flood prevention program, which Lumsden & Carroll are a key delivery partners, we took the opportunity to demonstrate a large Civil Engineering project to the school children within the local area.

It’s very rare that children get the opportunity to see such a large project first hand. The Y1 children now have a building site within their role play area and are writing about their experiences whilst Y6 pupils are solving maths problems based on measurement and capacity following the visit. Visits such as these can provide a real life context for learning.

- Joan Lumsdon, Head Teacher, Castletown Primary School, Sunderland

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