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Major role of outsourced services in saving Whaley Bridge homes

14 August 2019

Last week saw prolonged national media coverage of the plight of residents of Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, due to the Toddbrook Reservoir becoming unsafe.

With residents evacuated as the reservoir became increasingly unstable, a major operation was begun to reduce the water level and pressure on the dam so that it could be made safe.

Much of the media coverage focused on RAF helicopters bringing in ballast to shore up the reservoir's dam, but it has since been stated that outsourcing firm Kier and its supply chain played a major role in the operation.

A team of 55 ensured that operations continued non-stop to reduce the water level by more than 10m, after which local residents were allowed to return to their homes.

The team installed 11 high-volume, submersible pumps and more than 1km of piping, removed three weirs and additionally provided 700 tonnes of stone for the RAF to fly in, along with 400 tonnes of grouting.

Roads and access points were also installed to allow the water pumps to be installed and maintained.

Kier Regional Civils director Eddie Quinn described the situation as "tense" and "dangerous" at times.

"I'm very proud of our team and supply chain for quickly coming together to help the Canal & River Trust and residents in the area," he said.

Canal & River Trust chief executive Richard Parry thanked the company and its supply chain for their quick reaction to the emergency, recognising that they "worked tirelessly to reduce water levels and stabilise the dam".

There was no mention of the names of supply chain companies involved, but it is hoped that these will emerge in the near future.


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