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Project by May Gurney and Hyder Consulting scoops environmental awards

South West Water and contractor May Gurney have won an Environmental Best Practice award for an innovative pipe-laying process in South Devon.

The 2010 Green Apple Award recognises the approach taken to reduce environmental impact during the installation of 13km of pipeline to secure drinking water supplies for local industry and proposed new towns in the area.

The project has already been awarded the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management’s (CIWEM) 2010 World of Difference Award, for its sustainable approach to pipe and storage compound management.

The team working on the Avon Water Treatment Works Support Scheme was challenged with running a pipe from Roborough to Houndall Water Treatment Works in the South Hams – a route taking in woodland, parkland, agricultural property and two scheduled monuments. 

This was achieved through a combination of new techniques that minimised disturbance to natural habitats and reduced disruption to local communities, including:

  • Constructing an auger-bored tunnel under the River Plym to avoid damaging river bank habitats.
  • Using anchored pipes, which take advantage of ground resistance, instead of concrete thrust blocks to counteract thrust at bends in the pipe. This saved an estimated 685m³ of concrete and approximately £70,000, along with 160t of CO2 that would have been generated by transporting the concrete.
  • Recycling large amounts of waste materials produced by the works, saving £100,000 and reducing vehicle movements and the amount of material sent to landfill.

Project manager Nol Vincent said: “The Green Apple Award is the appropriate recognition for the hard work and co-operation of South West Water and its partners, May Gurney and Hyder Consulting. It shows just what can be achieved if the right team with a ‘can do’ ethic are brought together to deliver a project.”

The project team will be collecting their award at a special awards ceremony this November.

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