It has long been known that the tidal nature of the River Cocker makes it a prime location for flooding. The defenses close proximity to the rivers mouth meant that it was at a critical point for fish migration and for this reason the decision was taken to install two of ACEs innovative Fish friendly flap valves and two Penstocks.
With the importance of the flood defense site in mind the team chose to go with the reset system in a 3m square flap valve which made it the biggest of its kind. The reset system has the advantage that, while being incredibly unlikely, if the flap were to fail it would default to being closed ensuring flood protection is never compromised.
Once the new flap valves had been installed the old penstocks were then removed by ACE and disposed of by specialists. The new 3m ACE penstock doors utilise HDPE and stainless steel 316 which is not only sustainable for future generations but also minimises the need for maintenance. While being comparatively light, the size of the penstocks also allowed ACE to supply a portable spindle driver which could be fitted directly to the actuators in case of power failure. This removes the need for manual operation and reduces the chance of flooding even further.
The completion of the project means not only that Cockerham and the surrounding area will be protected for years to come, but also the River Cocker will see an increase in fish stocks.