ESG helps boost salmon population in South Yorkshire

ESG, the UK provider of testing, inspection and compliance services, is carrying out geotechnical surveys to support Yorkshire Water in boosting the salmon population in the River Don. The Socotec company is conducting ground investigation and structural analysis to assist the design process for the construction of a series of fish passes.

Salmon have gradually been returning to the River Don after 150 years’ absence. To support the growth of the species, Yorkshire Water is installing a series of fish passes to help them navigate the Don’s weirs. This will allow the fish to swim further upstream into their natural spawning grounds.

ESG’s Infrastructure Services Division was approached by Yorkshire Water to examine the structural make-up of the weirs, as well as the riverbed and the soil beneath. This data is needed when designing the fish passes to ensure they are structurally sound and cost-effective. Information about the water course and river depth along the Don is also being measured to ensure a consistent flow rate within the fish passes.

The project, at three weir sites along the Don and Little Don, involves a range of investigation techniques, including masonry coring and dynamic sampling. In-situ testing and dynamic sampling was carried out over-water using a modular rig.

Richard Hardwick, Project Manager, Infrastructure Services, ESG, said: “Some of these weirs were built more than a century ago, which means they pose a number of technical issues from a structural analysis perspective.

“However, our experienced geotechnical team has been able to develop and employ bespoke solutions to overcome the challenges of each site, providing Yorkshire Water with the information they need to support the design of the new passes.”

Jane Armstrong, Project Manager, Yorkshire Water, added: “Salmon are an important species in Britain’s marine ecosystem and increasing their population is a key sustainability initiative within our environmental programme.

“The ESG team has been very flexible in its approach to a complex project and the geotechnical information provided will help ensure that the fish passes are as efficient as possible and have a minimal impact on the Don’s historic weirs.”

ESG’s geotechnical team provides a diverse range of services for land-based and overwater projects.


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