• Sector: Water

  • Client: Thames Water Capital Delivery

  • Duration: 2 weeks

  • Completed: Oct 2022

  • Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire


The Cirencester Opportunity Group, an early learning centre which enables children with special needs to play and learn with other pre-school children, had suffered 7 major flooding incidents which had forced the centre to close for extended periods over the course of 5 years. In early 2022 Thames Water decided a more permanent solution was necessary and appointed us to install a flood alleviation device.

The centre is located adjacent to an ancient Roman scheduled monument (Cirencester Amphitheatre) and prior to carrying out any excavation works we were required to obtain a Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) from Historic England. We engaged Wessex Archaeology to excavate a trial pit for investigation purposes. As a result of their findings a second SMC was sought for the permanent works which placed various restrictions including a maximum depth of excavation (1.8m) and required an archaeological watching brief during the initial stages.The chamber itself was redesigned by FCL in line with Thames Waters design parameters whilst conforming to Historic England’s requirements. .

Working in school premises required us to implement additional health & safety measures: deliveries to/from site were subject to a 5mph speed limit and restricted to after 9:30 and before 3pm to avoid the school run; the site was segregated using block and mesh fencing, enclosed in eco sound barriers and noisy works arranged in advance to minimise disturbance.

The 1.5m diameter pump chamber and associated shaft were excavated and installed using an 8t excavator and a 1010 FLIP (Flooding Local Improvement Process) pump installed by our team  and connected to the existing drainage system. Temporary works were installed as per TWD.  We also diverted the centres existing drainage system into the new chamber.

In keeping with Falco’s reputation for customer engagement our Contracts Manager, Tommy O’Rourke, composed a short story to help the children understand why and how the works were carried out. Inspired by the centre’s logo and featuring three of the site team as characters in the tale of the Adventures of the Drainage Bears, the short story was read to the children by Centre Manager, Catherine Fowler.

Following testing and commissioning of the FLIP device the area was reinstated with a decorative stone, new cover and a new kiosk to house the electrical control panel and associated alarms.

A few weeks later, following heavy rain, the Centre remained dry while its car park flooded – providing evidence of the efficacy of the FLIP system and robustness of the installation.

Client Testimonial

Falco have become a very reliable and proactive partner helping Thames Water to reduce flooding and leaks throughout our system. This project showcased all of Falco’s key assets in particular their ability to integrate and manage a number of different stakeholders to achieve a common goal. Their excellent customer care skills also contributed to a successful flood alleviation project.

Stephen Sanderson, Senior Delivery Manager, Thames Water Capital Delivery

We were so impressed with Falco and how courteous they were in making sure there was as little disruption as possible, communicating so well with our team here and considering the needs of our service users, especially the children. All the staff here were so touched by the Drainage Bears story, such an original and thoughtful gesture

Catherine Fowler, Manager, Cirencester Opportunity Group

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