Raw Water: Securing Safety and Sustainable Supply

Raw water resources and their associated infrastructure require specialist maintenance, and Stonbury is pleased to help clients support the safety and functionality of these crucial assets.

Failure to maintain structures such as dams, weirs and spillways can result in catastrophic consequences and water companies are duty-bound to maintain them. Stonbury is delighted to share expertise in the maintenance, refurbishment and, where appropriate, removal of raw water structures to secure a safe and sustainable environment and the continued supply of wholesome water. 

Securing impounding reservoir safety 

Under the 1975 Reservoirs Act, impounding reservoirs capable of holding over 25,000 cubic metres of water above ground level (10,000m3 in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) are subject to frequent inspections to protect populations from potential failures. As a long-standing member of the British Dam Society, Stonbury is pleased to share extensive experience to help clients meet their reservoir safety regime obligations. 

With regulations enforcing regular inspections of spillways, Stonbury is currently enrolled in numerous spillways programmes across the UK. If overflow structures are not maintained, silt, vegetation and debris can obscure structural damage and threaten the integrity of the reservoir. Services include inspection, debris clearance and repair to a wide variety of overflow channels including concrete, brick, and stone-set structures. 

Stonbury is also frequently enrolled in the maintenance and refurbishment of dams, wave walls and embankments, and other formations associated with impounding reservoirs. Stonbury’s specially trained teams are proficient in the refurbishment of scour tunnels and pipework, and supply of access structures such as steps, walkways, and handrails; the condition of which is of critical importance to allow safe inspections by site engineers. 

Securing drinking water supply 

Raw water assets differ from many other civil engineering structures, both in their design and their sensitive location. Knowledge and experience of appropriate repair methods suitable for these structures, along with an understanding of the entire water industry cycle is essential to guarantee the provision of environmentally robust, reliable solutions that allow assets to continue to operate. 

The extensive knowledge and established reputation gained from decades of work on potable water assets makes Stonbury a standout company for the maintenance and refurbishment of raw water reservoirs and their associated infrastructure; assuring the provision of Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS)-approved mortars and coatings where necessary across all its programmes. 

Securing sustainable river systems 

There are thousands of man-made barriers in British rivers, many of which are historic. These redundant assets are costly to maintain and pose a risk to public safety. Importantly, these structures impede the passage of fish and wildfowl, isolating spawning grounds and contradicting efforts to restore river systems to greater levels of biodiversity and drought and flood resilience. 

Following River Restoration Centre best practice, Stonbury is committed to helping clients manage natural capital by offering solutions to remove retired barriers and restore resilient river systems. Stonbury was proud to be the main contractor in the UK’s largest weir removal project, opening the Dove watercourse for over 300 miles and allowing the free passage of wildlife for the first time in 900 years. 

Although impounding reservoirs and other raw water assets are essential for the security of the nation’s supply of drinking water, the pressures of climate change and ecological decline are driving the water industry to consider a more holistic approach to managing the water environment. Stonbury is delighted to offer solutions that extend along the entire catchment system, securing sustainable, safe access to water resources for both people and wildlife.

"The work we do on raw water assets is both challenging and rewarding; it’s our privilege as a company to be able to help maintain them to continue to ensure the safety of both water supplies and the public. In addition, our work in the natural environment in terms of river restoration allows us to be a one stop shop for many of our clients."

Richard Harrison, Regional Delivery Manager