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Capels Mill Progress Report No. 7

Water in the West & anchors in the East

The last week in November offered a whole new set of challenges to the Alun Griffiths Construction Team. Days and days of incessant rain led to some high water in the channel to the west of the railway viaduct.

Water main reconnected

Severn Trent have realigned and reconnected the water main. (See blue pipes right.)

This allowed the canal channel excavation to begin.

Then the rains came

A surface water drain and a spring flowing into the canal close to Dr Newton’s Way Bridge have filled the pound between the bridge and Wallbridge Upper Lock for some months now.

An earth bund (dam) has held that water in the Wallbridge pound protecting the work on the new channel site.

Project Manager Dr Simon Dunn explains…

"On Wednesday of last week the water in the Wallbridge pound rose fast and topped the bund and towpath. 

“When this happens it does not take long for the water to wash away the earth and for the dam to be breached. Thankfully our team are very experienced people and they recognised the danger of being inundated by a rush of water.

"So, they did the right thing…. they got the plant and the people out of the channel and watched the water rise."

Wallbridge Lock paddles were raised to lower the levels.  

Local information

“A local person stopped by to say that he had never seen the river Frome rise so high so quickly."

Simon continued, “We have to get on with the job so we called in a company to fit a Portadam. They did this quickly and we pumped water from the work site non-stop for 24 hours.”

Protection works

Simon explained that ‘getting on with the job’ actually involved protecting the River Frome from 'run-off' from the high ground on the east side of the viaduct.

“We just downed tools on the channel and implemented our pollution prevention emergency action plan to monitor and protect the river from any site runoff or pollution. This really highlighted the benefit of forward planning.

"We have some great people working for us.

"Wyn Jenkins has been involved in canal works and water management systems all over the country. His expertise was invaluable in dealing with the floodwater here."

Good News x 2

"The good news is that the water is now receding.

"The other good news is that we have had some great feedback from the Halcrow Environmental Clerk of Works working with Stroud District Council.

"The remedial work to protect the river was 100% successful!"

Click here to see the full set of Mike Gallagher's Capels Mill pictures
Back to normal

Work is now back to normal (if you call wading through mud the consistency of porridge to be normal!) The channel excavation is moving ahead with material taken away by tracked vehicles.

Anchors in the East

On the east side of the viaduct thirty five, of the fifty three, ground anchors are now in place and being tested before being locked off. See last picture above.

Monitoring from afar

Terry James, who featured in Capels Mill Update Number 6, had a word to say about how the Cotswold Canals Trust had helped him monitoring the rain fall whilst at home in Wales.

”I used your webcam umpteen times back home over the weekend to check if it was still raining in Stroud…. And it always was!"

Click here or on the icon right to find out more about Portadams. It is clever stuff!