Students return to Clay’s Lake for final annual visit

Students from the University of Brighton have paid a last visit to the Clay’s Lake Flood Alleviation Scheme in West Sussex, where works are almost complete.

The flood storage reservoir works at Clay’s Lake are being carried out by Mackley working as part of Team Van Oord and on behalf of the Environment Agency.

The Clay’s Lake project forms part of the Upper Mole Flood Alleviation Scheme which was developed by the Environment Agency after floods in the Crawley area during 2000.

When complete, the scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to more than 280 homes in the Maidenbower area, the London to Brighton rail link and to Gatwick Airport.

2018 is the fourth consecutive year that students from the University of Brighton have visited the site.

40 students participated in the final visit on 29 October, which comprised a tour of the site followed by a presentation from Dan Burden, Site Manager.

Following the visit, Dr Maria Diakoumi MEng, Principal Lecturer Civil Engineering at the University of Brighton, said:

“I’d like to thank you once again for offering the opportunity to our students to visit the Clay’s Lake site. The students seemed to really enjoy the visit and asked several good questions.

“Please give our thanks also to Dan for the very good presentation and for making us feel really welcome on the site.”

In addition to the visits to Clay’s Lake, Mackley has also hosted visits for students and other groups to a number of sites – including to the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls scheme.

Dave Knapp, Mackley’s Business Development Manager, said:

“The first visit, in 2014, came about as a result of me joining the local Industrial Advisory Board which is based at the University of Sussex.

“The Board’s purpose is to forge links and partnerships between local universities and business and industry, to both enhance students’ learning experience and make an important contribution to their successful development.

“These visits to our sites are a key part of that development, and it’s great to see that the Clay’s Lake visit has become an annual affair.”

The 2018 programme of works at Clay’s Lake, which recommenced in April, has included the following:

  • Various MEICA (mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, control and automation) works
  • Trimming the overbuild from the embankment and installing grasscrete to the downstream spillway
  • Creating an access track across the dam
  • The installation of deer fencing and gates around the perimeter
  • The completion of landscaping at the borrow area
  • Installing fish brushes through the culvert
  • Grass seeding of the embankment
  • Restocking the lake with fish
  • Construction of the operations/welfare building to house all telemetry and power stations

A key element of the project – the removal of an existing dam and its replacement with a larger dam to increase the lake’s capacity from 10,000 cubic metres to nearly 400,000 cubic metres – was completed in September 2017.

The works at Clay’s Lake will be complete in February 2019.

07 November 2018

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