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Whitford Yard – Historical Flooding in Picturesque Fowey

The Whitford Yard area of Fowey in Cornwall had experienced historical, ongoing issues, with repeat flooding affecting a number of properties and businesses.  The root cause of flooding is a longstanding hydraulic incapacity issue.  The existing sewer was failing, unable to cope and needed replacing.

The work involved the replacement of 100metres 250mm Ductile Iron and 225mm UPVC pipe and the installation of four new manholes.

The port lies at the mouth of the River Fowey, with its narrow streets is picturesque, but creates a very challenging environment for any construction projects.

This project was no exception for a number of reasons.

Given the central location of the works a complex traffic management system had to be installed, this needed to facilitate access to the many businesses and properties affected.

The work was also compounded by the dense network of services that criss-crossed the sewer pipeline and having to work close to listed buildings and a statue.

The Glanville team also had the additional challenge of working with the tide, as the sea water permeated through the ground and repeatedly flooded the trench work at high tide.

On completion, the scheme would also mitigate any potential for spillage into the nearby River Fowey.

Because of the location, the nature of the work and the potential impact on local businesses and residents, regular communication with stakeholders was critical. Prior to the commencement of works, all affected parties received a letter explaining the project, timescales and contact details.

The site manager was on-site every day working closely with the Harbour Commissioners and local Town Council. Visits were made to all affected businesses and residents on a daily basis to address any concerns and give updates on progress.

James Blake, Civils manager at Glanville Environmental, said, “This project had the potential to cause major disruption to the businesses and residents of Fowey.  The team did their best to minimise the disruption and any inconvenience caused.

The project team worked efficiently and professionally to lay the new sewer in challenging conditions, including over weekends. The hard work paid off, the project was completed four weeks ahead of schedule. We were also delighted that our client (South West Water) received no negative feedback from any of the affected customers.”   

The scheme also took place during a lockdown period, which reduced visitor footfall and traffic levels to Fowey, which helped to further minimise any disruption.