Aquatic Control Engineering were pleased to have been the full mechanical and electrical contractors for Mitford Dam in Morpeth. It saw the completion of one of the UKs most ambitious flood alleviation projects which included the Environment Agencies biggest ever dam. The approach of the Morpeth flood alleviation scheme was to divert and store water in a large reservoir which could then be used to control the flow of water being passed through the town.
The main feature of the reservoir is the large dam which stems the flow of the River Wansbeck during times of flood. This huge structure utilises five 3m x 3m ACE penstocks, which had to be designed to withstand pressures of up to 12.5MwC. The frames of the penstocks had to be large enough to allow the doors to be lifted completely clear in time of normal or low flow. Whilst the dam’s main aim was flood protection, this wasn’t allowed to sacrifice fish migration. To this end the second penstock was mounted in a lower position than the other four doors, which would allow the migration of trout and salmon. The five large doors are accompanied by a smaller 1.8m x 1.8m penstock door to allow crayfish and eel migration, which meant the critical migration path, would stay open.
On completion of the project at Morpeth, the Divisional Chief Engineer for Balfour Beatty commented that “The ACE project team managed their supply chain very well, always meeting our requests and dealing with changes in an efficient, professional and friendly manner. They are good people to work with and achieved high safety standards, embracing all of our safety procedures and requirements.”