Rescue 2 have just completed work on an 18 month long contract in Eastbourne, working alongside Southern Water and contractors CMDP.

Eastbourne WTW’s main distribution chamber (DC3) was first found to be in a problematic state in 2000.
The interior of DC3 had suffered from Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) attacks, along with reinforcement damage. Since then many solutions and contractors had found the project to be in the ‘mission impossible’ category.

In 2016 CMDP took on the project and due to the nature of the works and the environment it was decided it would be best delivered on a night working programme.

Throughout the 18 month duration of the project, contractors had to remove and reline the defective concrete walls and reinforcement. The team have also replaced the Storm Flow Control Penstock and carried out the refurbishment of the Emergency Penstock. A new platform and hand railing was also installed inside the chamber.

Rescue 2 worked onsite for the entire period, providing a rotating three man team during the nights and for 24hr cover when necessary. The Rescue teams set up a control point to monitor contractor entry, and provided technical entry advice and rescue provision in the risk areas.

There were many challenges during the project, not least of which was the chamber continuing to operate throughout the works – categorising the space as high risk throughout.

Some of the challenges overcome included:

  • Unknown constraints prior to commencing works
  • Rising water levels
  • Hydrogen Sulfide levels
  • Scaffolding access issues
  • Weather conditions
  • Ongoing Southern Water maintenance
  • A challenging programme

As part of the technical challenges of the works, Rescue 2 had to design and develop a new style of powered respirator, which enabled the contractors to work in the abnormal working conditions.

Richard Stanley, Southern Water Senior PM said: ‘The project team has done a great job repairing this strategic asset whilst flows were passing through it at all times. Congratulations go to the whole team for safely delivering this innovative, challenging and cost saving solution. Very well done’.

Well done to CMDP and the teams of contractors who worked so hard on the project. An incredible achievement and display of project management, teamwork and professionalism throughout. Thank you to all of the Rescue 2 team members who worked onsite, ensuring everybody’s safety.

Key people involved in the project

Before and after chamber images