Working with connected site specialist SITECH UK and Ireland, Caledonia Water Alliance (CWA) has halved the time required to complete a sustainable drainage pond for Scottish Water through using Trimble machine control systems, together with two Komatsu excavators – a PC360 and a PC210.
The project near Glasgow marks the first sustainable urban drainage system (SuDs) that CWA’s team has tackled and is a segment of a six-year infrastructure investment project by Scottish Water to mitigate flooding and facilitate upgrades across Scotland. It is also the first-time CWA has used machine technology, trialling it on this project to assess how it could improve efficiency, productivity, and site safety.
The issue was that this area in Glasgow was on the flood register as being a combined sewer stormwater run through but it did not have sufficient capacity so water came up the manholes. To remedy this the team had to excavate a holding pond, split the pipelines and channel the stormwater into the pond before it could be discharged into the canal.
While it was originally estimated that digging the pond would take around four weeks, with machine technology the team from CWA were able to complete it in just two weeks.
CWA Construction Manager Robert Borland said: “The increased safety and efficiency the Trimble technology brings has opened people’s eyes within the business to the benefits of using machine control.
“As a former machine operator, I’ve used GPS on projects before, so I knew it was the right choice for this site where we needed to dig a big hole in a very tight space that was also on a slope. Any overcut or requirement to re-dig would be challenging to remedy and have a big impact on extending the timescale of the project.”
The team was aided by SITECH, a Trimble technology specialist, which provided on-site calibration, base station set up and ongoing project support. CWA hired the two Komatsu from Blackwood Plant Hire SITECH ensured the kit was calibrated correctly for both.
Robert was impressed at the savings in manpower and time, which also minimised the disruption to local residents while boosting site safety.
“If we had dug this pond out without machine technology, it would have required three men on site working with the machines,” he said. “Using the Trimble GPS system therefore has radically improved the efficiency of carrying out this part of the project, and has the advantage of improved site safety, with no engineers required near the heavy equipment during operation.
“We had a banksman, but he was 20 metres away reversing wagons to the excavator. There was no one in the excavation itself putting string lines on batter rails because the machine was digging to the model on the Trimble Earthworks system so that was a big positive from our team.”
The site will be further enhanced with aquatic plants and tree planting around the area by Scottish water to help improve the local environment.