Rotrex Winches recently worked with specialist lifting engineers and a national utility contractor client to demonstrate the scope of the skills and experience available from the company’s engineers. In a major upgrade of the Abberton reservoir in Essex, the water level was raised by 3m, increasing the 5.7 billion gallon capacity by more than 50%.

As part of the project, divers had to be lowered into submerged pumping house chambers to take out the old pumps and replace them with much larger pumps. As a crane could not be used, a winching solution had to be found. This is where Rotrex Winches’ experience paid real dividends as most of the work had to be done in a confined area with very stringent health and safety restrictions, especially as divers’ lives were at risk.

We devised a method statement to supply and install 2 x 12 ton overhead air hoists and 1 x 1500kg man riding base mounted winch which were carefully fitted into the extremely confined space available in pumping the house.

This was a difficult installation as our engineers were working in very confined space, not helped by a large swarms of flying insects appearing. The site is also one of the most important reservoirs in Britain for wildfowl, being a Special Protection Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest due to their presence.

Having completed the installation, Rotrex Winches then supplied an experienced winch operator for the duration of the project. Both the contractor and the client were very pleased with the professional expertise that helped them to complete a very difficult project.

The £150m investment will help ensure a steady supply of water to 1.5m people in Essex over the next quarter of a century.