Constable Bridge Penstock

The Brief

The Witham Third District Drainage Board enlisted the expertise of Aquatic Control Engineering Ltd (ACE) for the replacement of an aging penstock at Constable Bridge. The existing timber-based penstock had reached the end of its service life, necessitating a bespoke and efficient solution to maintain water levels for local irrigation in the Stixwold Engine Drain.

The Solution

Survey and Assessment: ACE, serving as the main contractor under CDM regulations, conducted a comprehensive survey to evaluate the existing asset and define the scope of necessary works. The challenging conditions, including water levels, were carefully considered to ensure accurate planning.

Bespoke AQUIKO Penstock: ACE designed and manufactured a bespoke penstock, utilising its own brand of water flow control products, AQUIKO. The new 1.8m channel-mounted weir penstock was tailored to the specific dimensions and operational requirements of Constable Bridge. It featured both manual operation through a handwheel and the option for a battery-powered portable actuator, enhancing flexibility.

Installation Process: ACE, in collaboration with Robert Nicholas, employed a portable dam and dewatering pumps to set the asset dry for installation. The removal of the old penstock, initially challenging due to water levels during the survey, required cutting it out after it was discovered to be cast into concrete. The installation process demonstrated ACE’s adaptability and problem-solving skills.

The Result

Successful Project Completion: The project was executed within the specified timeframe, showcasing ACE’s efficiency and commitment to timely delivery. The Constable Bridge penstock replacement ensured the continued functionality of the watercourse, enabling the maintenance of optimal summer water levels for local irrigation, crucial for the surrounding farmland.

Enhanced Operational Features: The new AQUIKO penstock, with its bespoke design and flexible operation options, offered an improved and modernised solution compared to the outdated timber-based penstock. The incorporation of manual and portable actuator operation provided versatility and adaptability to varying operational needs.



Demonstrated Expertise and Capability

ACE’s role as the main contractor and successful completion of the Constable Bridge penstock replacement project highlighted the company’s expertise in delivering turnkey solutions for water flow control. The project demonstrated ACE’s ability to address challenges, conduct precise surveys, and provide bespoke designs tailored to client requirements.


Adaptive Problem Solving

Encountering unexpected challenges during the old penstock removal, ACE showcased its adaptive problem-solving skills. The discovery of the penstock cast into concrete required on-the-spot adjustments, demonstrating ACE’s ability to handle unforeseen complexities and ensure project success.


Continued Client Satisfaction

The completion of the Constable Bridge project reinforced the positive relationship between ACE and the Witham Third District Drainage Board. ACE’s commitment to delivering a bespoke design, build, and fit package of works contributed to client satisfaction, setting the stage for potential future collaborations.

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