Poole Harbour WaStop Installation

The Brief

A review of Environment Agency assets protecting Poole Harbour identified the need for intervention. Existing steel flap valves, installed historically to prevent backflow, faced operational issues due to natural build-up of rocks, sand, and silt. This necessitated a solution that could overcome these challenges and improve overall efficiency. One specific concern was the outfall near Sterte, utilizing a steel 1.5m flap valve, where the small head pressure caused water backup in the culvert.

The Solution

Strategic Implementation of WaStop Non-Return Valves: ACE collaborated with Poole Borough Council and Wessex Water to address the identified issues. WaStop non-return valves were chosen for their ability to mitigate problems associated with natural debris build-up. The outfall near Sterte posed a unique challenge due to its size, requiring a custom 1.5m WaStop with a specially designed flange plate to form a tight seal. This valve marked a significant achievement as the largest WaStop check valve installed in the UK and one of the largest globally.

Innovative Installation Approach: The installation of the large 1.5m WaStop valve presented engineering challenges. Traditional lifting and manual manoeuvring were rendered impossible due to the valve’s size and flange. Additionally, the small operating window dictated by tide times added complexity. The engineering team opted for a Hiab and lift beam, allowing safe lifting, support, and securing of the valve within the limited timeframe before the site submerged.

Debris Screen Integration: A crucial enhancement was the addition of a debris screen to prevent rock build-up caused by turbulent waters. The unique design of the WaStop, fitting inside the outfall, allowed seamless integration of the debris screen without impeding valve operation. One notable feature of the WaStop – its pulsing motion – formed a natural flushing action, preventing silt and debris accumulation and ensuring unrestricted operation.

The Result

Improved Operational Efficiency: The strategic placement of WaStop non-return valves at crucial sites around Poole Harbour resulted in enhanced operational efficiency. The valves overcame issues related to debris build-up, ensuring a reliable and consistent prevention of backflow. The installation of the 1.5m WaStop at Sterte addressed the specific challenges posed by the large outfall, effectively preventing water backup in the culvert.

Hiab and Lift Beam Innovation: The successful use of a Hiab and lift beam showcased ACE’s ability to innovate in response to unique installation challenges. This solution allowed the efficient lifting, support, and securing of the largest WaStop valve in the UK, overcoming constraints posed by the valve’s size and the limited operating window dictated by tide times.



Record-breaking Valve Installation

The installation of the 1.5m WaStop valve near Sterte marked a significant achievement, not only as the largest WaStop check valve in the UK but also as one of the largest globally. This showcased ACE’s capability to provide solutions for unique challenges and contribute to groundbreaking achievements in the field of non-return valve installations.


Debris Screen Integration

The successful incorporation of a debris screen as part of the WaStop installation highlighted ACE’s commitment to comprehensive solutions. The design allowed for effective debris management without compromising the valve’s functionality, addressing a limitation associated with traditional flap valves.


Natural Flushing Action

The pulsing motion of the WaStop valve, forming a natural flushing action, emerged as a widely recognized selling point. This feature ensured continuous clearing of silt and debris from the valve and screen, maintaining unrestricted operation over time. The project thus not only solved immediate challenges but also demonstrated the long-term benefits of the chosen solution.

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