The Challenge:

Delivering Bristol Water's largest ever single pipeline scheme in response to OFWAT's Asset Management Plan (AMP) 6, a plan for driving continuous improvement. UK water companies were given a compliance date of 31 March 2018 to meet requirements arising from the Environmental Impact Assessments. If not met Bristol Water would face a financial penalty. A full planning application and approvals process added further time pressures.

The majority of the pipeline had to be laid across agricultural land, primarily in the Mendip Hills, introducing significant environmental, biodiversity and arboricultural constraints. Special regard had to be given to great crested newts, bats, badgers, dormice, birds and cave spiders.

Taking the pipeline through five towns also brought logistical challenges. This was further complicated by planning consents, infrastructure diversions, highways restrictions, floodplains and seasonal embargoes. Incorporating all of these elements in to the delivery plan would be key to the success of the project.

The Solution:

The team wasted no time in co-locating at the client's head-office and implementing Early Contractor Involvement (ECI). This involved collaboratively deciding material selection, cost options and detailed designs to solve key challenges and set a path for project success.

To speed up delivery, work took place at 28 different sites concurrently and five strategic depots allowed for close co-ordination with pipe and materials suppliers to ensure continuous production. The route passed through Weston-Super-Mare, Cheddar, Burnham, Glastonbury and the southern part of Bristol, where the team engaged with local authorities regarding notices, permits and site availability.

To protect flora and fauna and to address local agricultural and arboricultural concerns, a full-time environmental and ecological professional expert was on site throughout. Measures set up included 5km of great crested newt fencing to protect the species from site and, as part of site reinstatement post-works. tree planting and new habitat creation.

The Impact:

  • Bristol Water's largest ever single pipeline scheme was delivered successfully and ahead of time, as well as bringing many benefits to the community and environment
  • This project brought about £11.5m of social impact through environmental measures, education and community engagement and hiring, training and up-skilling those who worked on the project
  • Collaboration and positive working relationships were key to the success, including implementing Early Contractor Involvement and maintaining positive relationships with local authorities throughout the works
  • Local biodiversity was also protected and enhanced through environmental practices including new habitat construction. The project was also delivered safe across 28 concurrent workfronts and 165,000 working hours on-site
" Kier were instrumental in the successful delivery of Bristol Water’s Southern Resilience Scheme with their vital contributions from best practice and buildability considerations at an early contractor involvement stage, through design, construction, commissioning and handover of the scheme. The Kier team’s focus on meeting a challenging regulatory deadline including; key stakeholder management, risk mitigation and leadership in Health and Safety were fundamental reasons for the successful delivery of the project. "
Mike Smith Director of Project Delivery Bristol Water

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