Hydrorock resolves flooding on narrow site; South Tyneside

A rural lane entering the village of Whitburn was prone to regular flooding due to the surrounding fields impacting water drainage. With the previous soakaways and gullies proving to be ineffective and the narrow site footprint presenting a challenge, South Tyneside Council required a highly effective and flexible solution to ensure access to the village was made safe.

Hydrorock was chosen to install a Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) due to the success of previous projects with South Tyneside Council.

“The thing that surprised me was how quickly it went into the ground. I’m impressed with Hydrorock and I’m very impressed with how easy it was to construct in the ground”

Lee Sergeant, South Tyneside Council

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“As engineers, we are becoming more aware that we need to use sustainable solutions. Engineers and councils have got a duty of care to protect their district and do better environmentally, Hydrorock is definitely a step in the right direction”

Helen Langton, Lynas Engineers

System design brief

The location of this project was prone to constant flooding with overflowing gullies and excess groundwater. The narrow verges and rural setting meant that there was limited space and a need for minimal disruption when installing a solution. Above ground, the site was prone to both carriageway and overland run-offs due to significant obstacles in the surrounding natural landscape. Topographical and ground-penetrating radar surveys were carried out which provided the engineers with a rudimental depth of the bedrock. An uneven bedrock was identified indicating that different levels of installation would be required. In addition to this South Tyneside Council were focused on obtaining a sustainable solution. Therefore, due to success at previous projects, Hydrorock was specified as the best solution.

The solution

To meet the design brief in terms of sustainability, efficiency in water management and ease of installation Hydrorock was specified. To insert the Hydrorock blocks a trench was excavated in the road verges before pushing the blocks into place, due to the speed of installation there was minimal disruption to traffic. Supergullies were installed to rapidly clear the surface water from the road and direct it, through a filter, to the high-density Hydrorock blocks for buffering and infiltration. Not only is this solution sustainable in its minimal use of plastic but can also be recycled and reused at the end of its life. Once the Hydrorock system’s whole life assessment is over, the used system will be returned to the UK Rockwool facility, where it will then be recycled into Rockwool insulation material.

Hydrorock benefits

South Tyneside Council received an effective solution designed and installed by Lynas Engineers and BCE Northern. This Hydrorock solution was able to:

  • Enable easier maintenance

  • Reduce road closures due to quick installation

  • Fit in a narrow site

  • Remove water from the road surface quickly

  • Adapt to changing bedrock levels and immovable obstacles

System used

The Hydrorock Aquifer Water Infiltration System was installed to provide a Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) with efficient rainwater infiltration through the base and sides. This solution was cost-effective due to the dispersed natural aquifer system that provided a greater surface area for infiltration.

Each block was lifted into place and connected to the block behind with a simple push-fit connector. The ends of each module were then connected to the kerbside gullies with the middle block of three being connected to a breather vent. As the Hydrorock module fills with water, the air is expelled through these breather pipes and as the water is released into the soil at a steady rate.

Whitburn Hydrorock projectWhitburn Hydrorock project

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