Case study Keswick

The Problem
The property is a detached house in Keswick which forms a series of houses whose back gardens abut a beck. The gardens slope steeply down towards the watercourse and during storms in the early winter of 2015/16 saw unprecedented water levels which in turn conveyed a quantity of large rock from further upstream and caused significant damage to the defences along this stretch of river. There was evidence of impact damage,
water diversion and erosion as a consequence. Optera were instructed by two of the occupants to investigate the damage to their properties and present the findings to Insurers. We have subsequently been instructed to repair a sixty metre stretch of the beck.

The Optera Solution
The defences along the entire stretch of the beck vary dependent upon the height of the defence but on this particular property, there is a vertical dry stone wall which has suffered impact damage and erosion and undermining from the diverted watercourse which is buffeting the toe of the defence.

Consequently Optera commissioned geotechnical and hydrological studies to determine the most appropriate form of repair and consulting with the Environment Agency and Natural England, developed a scheme of gabion baskets and where possible repairing sections of wall where the damage was not so severe. The project throws up challenges in working environment as water levels change rapidly with weather. A temporary bund has been created to shield the working area from the river flow and our highly skilled team are trained in the use of harnesses and fall arrest systems. Working in such a hostile environment requires experience and careful planning.

Project Conclusion
Works have now been completed, including the removal of the original stone wall defence and replacement with a gabion basket wall with rock revetment. The landscaping has been completed and both customers delighted with the outcome. The works have been completed two weeks ahead of schedule with thanks to some unseasonably mild weather and calm conditions. Another successful project completed by Optera.

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