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Pumping wells take a green line on drainage


A £6M COASTAL erosion and drainage scheme on the Isle of Wight is using a European technique it is believed for the first time on UK soil.

The scheme involves foreshore and slope works at Castlehaven on the southern tip of the island to improve drainage and reduce the impact of landslides.

Some 160 pumping wells will be installed to depths of 20m and 25m, in drainage runs along roads and in private gardens. Trench drains will interlink the wells where 125 gravity-fed siphon pumps and 35 electro-pneumatic pumps will be installed. The environmentally-friendly method is commonly used in Europe but has not been used in the UK before, High-Point Rendel says.

The scheme will allow environmental enhancement measures including the management of 8ha of land acquired by the Isle of Wight Council, where, it is hoped, rare species of bees and wasps will flourish.

An underground compressor chamber will be built to drive the electro-pneumatic pumps.

The foreshore works involve a main 500m long rock armour revetment along Reeth Bay, and a further revetment in front of Castlehaven Headland.

About 20,000m 3of armour stone and 2,000m 3of core material will be needed for this work and for reinstatement of the existing concrete slipway.

Funding for the scheme has been grant-aided by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The designer, consultant HighPoint Rendel, will act as engineer and provide site supervision for the project. The civil engineering contract has been awarded to Van Oord Construction.

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