Cannington Outfalls scheme Highly Commended at ICE awards

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A project to improve flood protection for 1,440 properties in Somerset was Highly Commended at the ICE South West Region Awards.

The ‘Cannington Outfalls’ scheme was Highly Commended in the Civil Engineering Project of the Year category. The scheme was delivered on behalf of the Environment Agency by Team Van Oord.

Cannington outfalls are located on the bank of the River Parrett estuary near the village of Cannington, in Somerset. The scheme’s objectives were to reduce the risk of breach due to failure of four outfalls, thereby raising the standard of flood protection to local properties.

The construction method was constrained by tidal river levels. A borrow pit was excavated in April 2010 to enable the material to dry out ready for strengthening the banks in August /September.

Three of the four outfalls are situated within the boundaries of the Severn Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA), candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC), and Ramsar site, and the Bridgwater Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

By only raising the banks to the level of the adjacent embankments, and re-grading the bank on the landward side, the project team reduced the visual impact and disruption to the established flora on the river banks and berms.

The use of locally won material from the borrow pit reduced construction traffic and the pit was reinstated as pond, providing at least 0.44ha of Biodiversity Action Plan habitat.

On completion, one of the affected landowners contacted the Environment Agency to say how impressed he was with the works and to thank the team for what he described as a ‘proper job’.

June 2011