We teamed up with Drainage Care UK to install a new pumped drainage pipe from the mainland to Fry’s Island in Reading. It took over 12 months of planning and permissions but in summer 2017 we were ready to go.

Fry’s Island, also known as De Montfort Island, is a natural island in the River Thames. It is home to a private house and a private bowling club. and can only be reached by boat. The existing pipe under the river had been leaking for some time and could not be repaired. We decided to install a 63mm MDPE pipe as a sleeve with a 32mm interior to carry the pumped sewage. This sleeve of 63mm pipe would also act as a future projection for the inner pumped main.

Directional Drilling: During initial planning, the project manager encountered problems gaining permissions. Our specialist horizontal directional drilling, however, is considered an environmentally friendly process of installation so the environmental agency application was easy to get through. The main issue was traffic and the section 50 (council permission to excavate in the highway) as the position for drilling from was very close to the bottom of a road and a turning point for local traffic.

With the Reading music festival due to take place that week and the towpath under constant use for access, it was important to complete the project as quickly and safely as possible.

Once the permissions were granted, we mobilized to site and the drill was undertaken. We needed to use a boat to track the drill under the Thames and also to get the pipe to the island before we pulled it in. The drill was a success and Drainage Care UK successfully installed the 32mm pipe and made the connections.

Project completed on time, within budget.