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Engineers investigate Welsh coastline

19 Apr 16 The largest programme of scientific coastal investigation work ever undertaken in Wales has begun.

Rhossili Bay on the Gower Peninsula
Rhossili Bay on the Gower Peninsula

The Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) Capital Delivery Alliance comprising Mott MacDonald Bentley and joint ventures between Morgan Sindall/Arup and Skanska/Arcadis is undertaking more than £8m-worth of studies at 49 sites around the Welsh coastline.

The programme will include field surveys, water quality monitoring and mathematical modelling. The project is designed to provide DCWW and its regulator, Natural Resources Wales, with the tools to help better understand and protect Welsh coastal waters for years to come. It is due to be completed at the end of the first quarter of 2017.

The alliance will develop computer models of the Welsh coastal waters and carry out assessments of bathing and shellfish water to determine what further investments are required to maintain high levels of water quality. In addition to its specialist in-house experts, the alliance has also engaged water consultants Intertek to lead the modelling and compliance components and a specialist survey team, led by APEM and including CREH and Fugro, to deliver this programme of work.

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Project manager Mark Dives of Mott MacDonald Bentley said: “This project will make use of a number of innovative techniques, such as state-of-the-art modelling and microbial tracers, simulating coastal dynamics and pollutant transport, as well as the most advanced coastal survey technology ever seen. The study area covers over 2700km of coastline, including more than 10 major estuaries.

“The sheer scale of the task in hand – to gather a huge amount of historic data to feed the study and drive a substantial survey programme to gather new data – in the time available will provide a big challenge to the Capital Delivery Alliance. However we are confident in our abilities and expertise to undertake the project safely, efficiently and to achieve sustainable outcomes for the benefit of both DCWW customers and the environment.”

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