UK’S ENVIRONMENT AGENCY APPOINTS BOLINA TO INSTALL FLOATING BOOMS AT WAINFORD SLUICE STRUCTURE
UK’s Environment Agency appoints Bolina to install floating Canoe Booms at Wainford Sluice structure on the River Waveney in Norfolk, to keep river users away from dangerous water hazards.
The UK’s Environment Agency is the asset owner of a sluice structure located at Wainford, on the River Waveney in Norfolk, an important water body that forms the boundary between Suffolk and Norfolk in England.
During the summer of 2020, the agency’s asset inspection and safety officers noted a significant amount of recreational activity occurring downstream of the sluice including swimmers, small craft, and other users. However, this was a cause of concern for the officers as the water falling over the sluicing gate is often turbulent and extremely powerful, creating an extremely dangerous hazard to those users.
Therefore, in order to manage the risks, the Environment Agency required the installation of a floating system downstream of the asset to further deter river users from the turbulent water flowing over the sluice gate.
Furthermore, the agency also had two other Canoe Booms positioned at the site, on the upstream side of the sluice gate and an adjacent weir, they required that the scope of work for the project would also include the service and maintenance of these booms.
In order to resolve the problems faced, the Environment Agency identified that a Canoe Boom system would be appropriate for the task, mirroring what is already upstream. This as because it was possible to achieve good fixity on either end of the boom into the downstream concrete headwalls, while the length of these headwalls ensured that the boom could be installed far enough away from water falling over the sluice gate, so as to prevent the system from any excessive damage.
As a result of these specifications and requirements, Bolina was appointed to the project, with the scope of work requiring that the installation of the boom take place before the summer of 2021. This was due to the anticipated high interest in the publicly accessible site, along with the corresponding increase in river recreational activities.
Bolina’s Canoe Booms have been designed to allow easy and rapid assembly to customer lengths, using ordinary tools to install. Developed following trials with coaching staff from the British Canoe Union, the booms have been designed to allow authorised, experienced users to pass, while still acting as an effective deterrent to novice river users, such as kayaks and other light craft.
Despite the Environment Agency’s desire to install the Canoe Boom systems as early as possible, the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions meant that it was not possible to commence work before the end of 2020. Furthermore, due to the river levels and flow conditions in the early months of 2021, the installation work was postponed until the early spring.
However, these issues were soon overcome, and the project was installed successfully with the assistance of the Environment Agency. Although it is too early to accurately gauge its success, the Environment Agency will be monitoring the site throughout the summer period, and trusts that the new installation will see a significant reduction in the general public interfering with the sluice gate and its operations.
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