We recently completed a full deep clean of the Black Rock waste pumping station for our customer Southern Water.
This annual clean is part of our wet well programme for Southern Water.
Black Rock, near Brighton, is designed to take storm water out of the sewer network during heavy rain. There is a 40 metre shaft connected to a large storage tank that runs under the beach. The tank holds 150 million litres and is large enough to drive a double-decker bus through. The storm water is stored until the sewer levels reduce, protecting the city from flooding and preventing beach pollution.
Due to depth of the shaft, the cleaning work requires a crane to lower in special steel solid pipes which are able to cope with the weight and strain. The crane is also used with a man riding basket to allow the confined space entry crew to enter the wet well.
The entry crew are specially trained to deal with this kind of high risk work. Black Rock has poor line-of-sight for the entry teams due to its depth and our rescue crew are constantly in position in case of an emergency situation arising.
Rain is a danger to the crew working inside the well as it can fill with water in as few as 15 minutes in a downpour. We rely on communications from the Southern Water duty manager who will alert us to any rain in the surrounding area so our team can exit the wet well.
The MTS teams were on site for ten days, with the first four days spent pumping water out of the well to lower the levels in both the well and inlet tunnel. This was followed by six days of thorough cleaning work, successfully completed without any safety issues.
We used a combination of specialist equipment to successfully complete this high risk work including; a Disab industrial vacuum unit; a deep lifting super suction tanker; a tipping tanker and a pipe lorry.
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