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Asset focused drainage guidance unveiled

Improved assessment and remediation is the aim of a new drainage guidance document that was due to be published today by construction industry standards body Ciria.

Ciria’s new Transport infrastructure drainage: condition appraisal and remedial treatment document looks at the impact of drainage condition in terms of enhancing the performance of major assets.

“Although other drainage guidance does exist, it focuses on design standards and none of it addresses the issue of appraising the condition or remediation,” said Ciria project director Chris Chiverrell.

The report has been written by Mott MacDonald’s Tim Spink, Ian Duncan and Andrew Lawrence and Atkins’ Andrew Todd with the support of the UK’s main infrastructure owners and an industry-led steering group.

Development of the guidance started in 2009 from a meeting of the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum. “It was a period when the big infrastructure owners were trying to better understand their assets and build knowledge of what they had, where and what condition it was in,” said Chiverrell. “It was clear that the scale of drainage assets was an unknown, let alone the condition. Infrastructure owners were aware of the importance of maintaining their assets but treated drainage as a secondary asset.

Chiverrell reports that the project was straightforward in terms of funding and the development has benefited from an active steering group. Ciria had originally hoped to publish the guidance 18 months ago but the lead authors’ were closely involved with the next Network Rail control period which limited the time available. “Although this has delayed the document, the experience and knowledge gained by our authors from this process has benefited the overall guidance enormously,” added Chiverrell.

The guidance sets out current best practice and provides advice on investigation, inspection and monitoring of drainage in order for drainage assets to prevent impact on other assets. The document also looks at the interaction of third party assets and how transport drainage assets sit within the wider catchment.

“The number of drainage engineers is declining and, with them, so is the skills base,” added Chiverrell. “The guidance brings together the best practice knowledge in order to take expertise to the same level as guidance for other applications.”

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