Leading wet civil engineering company, Land & Water, has completed its works as part of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project to transport and unload the London Clay mined from the new “super sewer” tunnel to its Habitat Creation Scheme in Rainham.

The project, which is being carried out on behalf of client AC Bennett & Sons, who are employed by the BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall, Balfour Beatty joint venture, is delivering the west section of the new 25km tunnel.

Through the use of river barges, over 25,000 lorry movements have been kept from the roads of London. This not only significantly reduced carbon emissions but also helped in transporting 850,000 tonnes of material from the west section’s main drive site at Carnwath Road Riverside in South West London to Land & Water’s Jetty at Coldharbour Lane. A proportion of the material was then reused to help regenerate natural habits at Rainham Marshes.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a 25km sewer tunnel designed to help tackle the millions of tonnes of raw sewage pouring into the River Thames each year.  It will ensure the city’s predominantly Victorian sewerage network is able to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population for generations to come.

Since 2015 Land & Water has been working with the Port of London Authority (PLA), RSPB, and Natural England to use inert and non-hazardous soils to restore part of the Rainham and Wennington Marshes SSSI. This is part of the company’s wider commitment to increase biodiversity and enhance the ecology in the areas in which it works.

This collaboration will see Land & Water operating the restoration scheme until 2042, resulting in over six million tonnes of wet and dry spoil material being repurposed and 110 hectares of valuable habitat being created, encouraging greater areas of greenery along the Thames Corridor.

Having become involved in the Thames Tideway project in January 2018, Land & Water has worked alongside the joint venture throughout the tunnel drive to unload barges supporting the delivery of the west section. So far, this has seen the west section contributing over 450,000 tonnes of material to Rainham, helping to create an oasis for birds and wildlife.

As part of Land & Water’s continued commitment towards safeguarding the environment and investing in UK infrastructure to build sustainable solutions, the Habitat Creation Scheme at Rainham allows for the River Thames to be utilised as a liquid highway.

Tom Melhuish, Project Manager at Land & Water, says: “For many years, Land & Water has been working hard to deliver innovative logistical solutions which will unlock future supply chains in and out of London.

“This project is a truly great example of how the River Thames can be harnessed as a sustainable transport system, reducing both congestion and air pollution, whilst also championing the beneficial re-use of waste to design new habitats and foster biodiversity.

“Despite receiving up to 5,500 tonnes a day and having the added challenge of requiring barges to be unloaded within 12 hours, the project team successfully completed the works without any delay to the tunnelling.”

Land & Water prides itself on being at the forefront of driving environmental and behavioral change, within its sector, through the use of innovative and sustainable practices.

The Thames Tideway project is a great example of how forward-thinking solutions can be implemented to reduce carbon emissions and benefit ecosystems. However Land & Water is also prioritising alternative methods, by following a carbon reduction strategy, to further safeguard the environment and add value to the areas in which it works.

By following a set of steps which help identify how projects are delivered, or whether they even need to be delivered at all, through considering alternative or low energy consumption methodologies such as “little and often” campaigns or the use of AI and digital mapping, Land & Water is able to improve and maintain the UK’s waterways and estuarial infrastructure in a more sustainable way.

The firm has recently been implementing HVO fuel as an alternative to diesel, after successfully trialling Crown Oil’s biofuel at its Habitat Creation Scheme at Rainham.

HVO fuel is a 90+ percent net carbon neutral, fully biodegradable biofuel which uses hydrogen to promote a cleaner-burn, straight carbon chain, without troublesome Esther’s which can cause degradation in time and ultimately block fuel filters. It also doesn’t require any plant modification which helps cut costs and enables companies to better the embedded carbon in its existing plant fleet.

Reducing heavy footprint projects, such as at Rainham, to cut carbon is of key importance as Land & Water prioritises sustainable works.

As part of this, the civil engineering firm has also significantly reduced its carbon output.

On behalf of the Environment Agency at a recent project at Calstock, in South East Cornwall, Land & Water saved 75 percent of construction carbon and 72 percent whole life carbon by thinking more strategically to optimise solar gain for spoil conditioning, saving stabilisation costs and unnecessary HGV movements through the Cornish Village.

The project, which reduces the risk of flooding in the area through the construction of new flood defence embankments on a set-back alignment, also helped to increase local biodiversity and offset some habitat losses caused by rising sea levels through the reconnection of an area of floodplain to create reed-beds.

Through demonstrating a greener way to work and considering the responsibility of its industries carbon impact, Land & Water is able to be part of some of the UK’s most successful environmentally conscious projects.

About Land & Water

Land & Water is an award-winning inland waterway and coastal civil and environmental engineering company based in the UK. Throughout their 40-year history, their name has become synonymous with finding creative and effective solutions to complex challenges in the specialist environment where land and water meet. Often working in complex or sensitive habitats, their work is always completed with sympathy to the local surroundings, people and the environment.

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